The extracellular glycan polysialic acid linked to neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is principally expressed in the developing brain and the adult neurogenic regions. Although colocalization of PSA-NCAM with cholecystokinin (CCK) was found in the adult brain, the role of PSA-NCAM remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the functional significance of PSA-NCAM in the CA1 region of the male mouse hippocampus. Combined fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry showed that few vesicular glutamate transporter 3-negative/CCK-positive (VGluT3 –/CCK +) cells were colocalized with PSA-NCAM, but most of the VGluT3 +/ CCK + cells were colocalized with PSA-NCAM. The somata of PSA-NCAM +/CCK + cells were highly innervated by serotonergic boutons than those of PSA-NCAM –/CCK + cells. The expression ratios of 5-HT3A receptors and p11, a serotonin receptor-interacting protein, were higher in PSA-NCAM +/CCK + cells than in PSA-NCAM –/CCK + cells. Pharmacological digestion of PSA-NCAM impaired the efficacy of antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, but not the efficacy of benzodiazepine anxiolytic diazepam. A Western blot showed that restraint stress decreased the expressions of p11 and mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and FLX increased them. Interestingly, the FLX-induced elevation of expression of p11, but not mature BDNF, was impaired by the digestion of PSA-NCAM. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that restraint stress reduced the expression of polysialyltransferase ST8Sia IV and FLX elevated it. Collectively, PSA-NCAM colocalized with VGluT3 +/CCK + cells in the CA1 region of the hippocampus may play a unique role in the regulation of antidepressant efficacy via the serotonergic pathway.
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