Navigation Links
mTOR: A key brain signaling mechanism for rapidly acting antidepressants

Philadelphia, PA, November 19, 2013 Two years ago, mammalian target of rapamycin or mTOR, a signaling protein, was identified as a key mediator of the antidepressant effects of ketamine, the first rapidly acting antidepressant medication to be identified.

Several years later, a group at the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Program reported that scopolamine, a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, also produced rapidly appearing antidepressant effects, similar to the actions of ketamine.

Together these findings represent one of the most significant advances in the field of depression in recent years.

Now, new results reported in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine demonstrate that scopolamine causes rapid activation of mTOR signaling and increased number of synaptic connections in the prefrontal cortex.

The prefrontal cortex is an important brain region, involved in executive and cognitive functioning, decision-making, planning, and the expression of personality. It is also implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression.

"These effects are similar to the actions of ketamine, showing that two drugs with completely different receptor blocking profiles have common downstream actions linked to rapid antidepressant responses," said Dr. Ronald Duman, senior author on the project. "Moreover, the increase in synaptic connections reverses the deficit caused by stress and depression and thereby reinstates the normal control of mood and emotion."

"It would be very important to know if all of the new generation of rapidly acting antidepressant medications acted through a final common signaling pathway within neurons. This knowledge might guide insights into why some patients fail to respond to available antidepressants and provide directions for treating depression," said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

The authors agree, noting that these findings suggest that different muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist may be even more effective and cause fewer side effects than scopolamine. Further studies of such agents are already underway.


Contact: Rhiannon Bugno

Related biology news :

1. Nurture impacts nature: Experiences leave genetic mark on brain, behavior
2. SIGNAL found to enhance survival of new brain cells
3. Exercise during pregnancy gives newborn brain development a head start
4. OHSU Vollum Institute research gives new insight into how antidepressants work in the brain
5. Allen Institute for Brain Science partners with imec for development of next-generation tools
6. Brain may play key role in blood sugar metabolism and development of diabetes
7. Brain structure in post-traumatic stress disorder
8. Lasers might be the cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons
9. Did brain tumor stem cells originate from malignant neural stem cells?
10. Snakes on the brain: Are primates hard-wired to see snakes?
11. How problems with an Alzheimers protein can jam up traffic in the brain
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/21/2016)... 2016 NuData Security announced today that Randy ... principal product architect and that Jon Cunningham ... development. Both will report directly to Christopher ... reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product and ... demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 Perimeter ... Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Alex,s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a leading national ... a state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ,big data, to advance ... as Liz Scott , co-executive director of ALSF ... in Washington, D.C. , hosted by ... advocate of pediatric cancer research and awareness. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Global demand for enzymes is forecast to ... $7.2 billion.  This market includes enzymes used in ... production, animal feed, and other markets) and specialty ... and beverages will remain the largest market for ... products containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or ... its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and ... based venture capital funds which together hold ... a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they have ... entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative ... of the United States denied ... that the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 ... eligibility criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative ...
Breaking Biology Technology: