Navigation Links
Biological link between stress, anxiety and depression identified for the first time
Date:4/11/2010

Scientists at The University of Western Ontario have discovered the biological link between stress, anxiety and depression. By identifying the connecting mechanism in the brain, this high impact research led by Stephen Ferguson of Robarts Research Institute shows exactly how stress and anxiety could lead to depression. The study also reveals a small molecule inhibitor developed by Ferguson, which may provide a new and better way to treat anxiety, depression and other related disorders. The findings are published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Ferguson, Ana Magalhaes and their colleagues used a behavioural mouse model and a series of molecular experiments to reveal the connection pathway and to test the new inhibitor. "Our findings suggest there may be an entire new generation drugs and drug targets that can be used to selectively target depression, and therefore treat it more effectively, " says Ferguson, the director of the Molecular Brain Research Group at Robarts, and a professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "We've gone from mechanism to mouse, and the next step is to see whether or not we can take the inhibitor we developed, and turn it into a pharmaceutical agent."

The research was conducted in collaboration with Hymie Anisman at Carleton University, and funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). "According to the World Health Organization, depression, anxiety and other related mood disorders now share the dubious distinction of being the most prevalent causes of chronic illness," says Anthony Phillips, the scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. "Using the power of molecular biology, Stephen Ferguson and colleagues provide novel insights that may be the key to improving the lives of so many individuals coping with these forms of mental ill health."

The linking mechanism in the study involves the interaction between corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1 (CRFR1) and specific types of serotonin receptors (5-HTRs). While no one has been able to connect these two receptors on a molecular level, the study reveals that CRFR1 works to increase the number of 5-HTRs on cell surfaces in the brain, which can cause abnormal brain signaling. Since CRFR1 activation leads to anxiety in response to stress, and 5-HTRs lead to depression, the research shows how stress, anxiety and depression pathways connect through distinct processes in the brain. Most importantly, the inhibitor developed by the Ferguson lab blocks 5-HTRs in the pathway to combat anxious behaviour, and potentially depression, in mice.

While major depressive disorder often occurs together with anxiety disorder in patients, the causes for both are strongly linked to stressful experiences. Stressful experiences can also make the symptoms of anxiety and depression more severe. By discovering and then blocking a pathway responsible for the link between stress, anxiety and depression, Ferguson not only provides the first biological evidence for a connection, but he also pioneers the development of a potential drug for more effective treatment.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Multifunctional polymer neutralizes both biological and chemical weapons
2. Sorting device for analyzing biological reactions puts the power of a lab in a researcher’s pocket
3. $25M NSF center established to investigate the creation of biological machines
4. Engineer studies tensional integrity of biological structures
5. Scientists identify first genetic variant linked to biological aging in humans
6. New study: Human running speeds of 35 to 40 mph may be biologically possible
7. From biological basics to diabetes discovery
8. Seeing how evolutionary mechanisms yield biological diversity
9. New biological route for swine flu to human infections
10. Researchers discover biological basis of bacterial immune system
11. Dr. William Brody, President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Appointed to GenVaults Board of Directors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/24/2016)... 23, 2016 Cercacor today introduced Ember TM ... trainers non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen ... Respiration Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a ... immediate access to key data about their bodies to ... regimen. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identification and object recognition technologies, today announced that ... for smart cards was submitted for the ... and successfully passed all the mandatory steps of ... III evaluation is a continuing test of fingerprint ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just released a new white paper ... high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. Photo - ... ... ... Setting up a high performance computing or HPC ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... today announced that it has become a Wonderware Certified System Integrator Partner. ... Partner by Schneider Electric Software. , “The System Integrator Partner certification gives customers ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016  Nordion, a ... General Atomics (GA), welcome today,s award by the ... Security Administration (NNSA) of the Phase II cooperative ... with Nordion and the University of Missouri Research ... funding will support the establishment of a new, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7, 2016  Genprex, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company ... treatments, today announced that it has retained ICR ... strategic communications and advisory firm, to develop and ... will combine investor relations, public relations and digital ... profile of Genprex and its lead candidate Oncoprex, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Cambrian Innovation , ... facilities, today announced that one of the nation’s fastest growing craft breweries, ... purchase agreement (WEPA). Under the WEPA, a first for the industrial wastewater treatment ...
Breaking Biology Technology: