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:11/19/2015)... NEW YORK , Nov. 19, 2015  Although ... the market is dominated by a few companies, according ... Qiagen. These companies own 51% of the market share of ... report, The World Market for Molecular Diagnostic ... "The market is still controlled by one ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... Directors. --> --> ... the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest ... Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating ... companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend ... result in lower margins but higher volume share ... increased capacity and scale, however, margins in the ... Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Copper is an essential micronutrient that all ... copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million award from the ... a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... This ... entrepreneurs at competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas ... projects from each state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's ...
Breaking Biology Technology: