Navigation Links
It's in the genes: Study opens door to new treatment of the blues

A Florida State University scientist used a gene transfer technique to block the expression of a gene associated with clinical depression in a new study of mice that could lead to better treatment of human beings with this condition.

Carlos Bolanos, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, was among a team of researchers that identified the role of a gene called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the development of social aversion. Mice treated with a transfer technique to block expression of the BDNF gene in a small area of the mid-brain did not develop the aversion despite repeated encounters with aggressive rodents. The study will be published in the Feb. 10 issue of the journal Science.

"It's very exciting because we are slowly but surely identifying mechanisms in the brain underlying psychiatric disorders that have a social withdrawal component, such as social phobia, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and that will allow us to find better ways to treat these disorders," Bolanos said. "This study is significant because it gives us an animal model of the disorder and opens up new areas of study."

In the experiment, the researchers subjected mice to daily bouts of social threats and subordination by aggressive rodents and continuous sensory contact with the aggressors for 10 days. Afterward, the defeated mice avoided any social contact by spending most of their time in the corner of their cages opposite other mice, including those that had not been aggressive toward them.

The defeated mice also displayed little interest in sexual interaction and showed decreased preference for palatable sugary drinks over plain water. A month later, the rodents' interest in sex and sweets had returned, but the social avoidance remained.

The researchers found that long-term use of antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and imipramine (Trofanil), were successful in reversing the social withdrawal in the se mice. But the successful use of the gene therapy approach to block the expression of the BDNF gene in a highly localized area of the brain suggests the potential for the development of new drug therapies with fewer side effects.

"We have made great progress in our understanding of how antidepressants work, but despite years of research, our knowledge of the changes that these drugs induce in the brain is rudimentary," Bolanos said. "Though available treatments for depression are generally safe and effective, they are still not ideal. It takes long-term treatment before seeing clinical benefit, and potential side effects are a serious problem. The findings of this study provide exciting new leads and point to potential strategies, such as developing drugs capable of targeting specific proteins in restricted brain areas."


'"/>

Source:Florida State University


Related biology news :

1. Beyond genes: Lipid helps cell wall protein fold into proper shape
2. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
3. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
4. UCLA Study Shows One-Third of Drug Ads in Medical Journals Do Not Contain References Supporting Medical Claims
5. Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible
6. Study Links Ebola Outbreaks To Animal Carcasses
7. Breakthrough Microarray-based Technology for the Study of Cancer
8. NYU Study Reveals How Brains Immune System Fights Viral Encephalitis
9. Study finds more than one-third of human genome regulated by RNA
10. Leukemia Drug Breakthrough Study In New England Journal Of Medicine
11. Study identifies predictors of HIV drug resistance in patients beginning triple therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 Vigilant Solutions ... Police Department in Missouri solved ... plate reader (LPR) data from Vigilant Solutions. ... case in which the victim was walking out of a convenience store and ... space next to his vehicle, striking his vehicle and ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of ... of the digital and computed radiography markets in ... and Indonesia (TIM). It provides ... size, as well as regional market drivers and restraints. ... market penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital and ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the launch of a new video featuring singer, ... Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at the Wocket booth to ... , where Joey appeared at the Wocket booth to meet and greet ... the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) in Las Vegas , ... --> --> The video is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced ... 2015. --> --> For ... of $29.3 million, or $0.34 loss per share, compared to a ... the same period in 2014. For the year ended December 31, ... $1.05 loss per share, as compared to a net loss of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Wellcentive today ... Portland, Oregon -based community care ... provide population health analytics, quality reporting and care ... FamilyCare strengthen its team of quality managers, analysts ... to the provider groups serving FamilyCare members. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... York (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... instruments for more than 150 years, continues today to pursue the highest level ... line of analytical instruments: the AR9 Refractometer and the AR5 Refractometer. Accurate, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The Maryland House of ... has announced that University of Maryland School of Medicine ... and University of Maryland Medical System President and CEO ... "Speaker,s Medallion," the highest honor given to the public ... Dean Reece and Mr. Chrencik for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: