Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are characterized by fear memory problems and hypocortisolemia of which traumatic stress-induced monoaminergic disruption over infralimbic (IL) cortex is considered the key mechanism. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has recently proven its utility in treating several mental disorders but remains unexplored for PTSD. The present study aimed to examine the effects of 5-day HBO paradigm on traumatic stress (single prolonged stress, SPS, an animal model of PTSD)-induced dysregulation of fear memory/anxiety profiles and related abnormalities in IL monoamines and plasma corticosterone. Rats were randomly assigned to four groups (CON-sham, CON-HBOT, SPS-sham, and SPS-HBOT) and received Pavlovian fear conditioning test or elevated-T maze (ETM). The extracellular and tissue levels of monoamines over the IL cortex and the activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (i.e., the plasma corticosterone level and expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the IL, hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) were measured. The results demonstrated that HBOT restored behaviorally the SPS-impaired fear extinction retrieval ability and SPS-induced conditioned anxiety, and neurochemically the SPS-reduced IL monoamines efflux level, and the corticosterone profiles. The present study shows some positive effects of HBOT in both behavioral and neurochemical profiles of PTSD outcomes.

Lin, Huang, Tung, Liu (2019). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy restored traumatic stress-induced dysregulation of fear memory and related neurochemical abnormalities. Behavioural brain research, 2019 02;359():861-870. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30056129