Navigation Links
Astrocytes identified as target for new depression therapy
Date:1/23/2013

BOSTON (January 23, 2013) Neuroscience researchers from Tufts University have found that our star-shaped brain cells, called astrocytes, may be responsible for the rapid improvement in mood in depressed patients after acute sleep deprivation. This in vivo study, published in the current issue of Translational Psychiatry, identified how astrocytes regulate a neurotransmitter involved in sleep. The researchers report that the findings may help lead to the development of effective and fast-acting drugs to treat depression, particularly in psychiatric emergencies.

Drugs are widely used to treat depression, but often take weeks to work effectively. Sleep deprivation, however, has been shown to be effective immediately in approximately 60% of patients with major depressive disorders. Although widely-recognized as helpful, it is not always ideal because it can be uncomfortable for patients, and the effects are not long-lasting.

During the 1970s, research verified the effectiveness of acute sleep deprivation for treating depression, particularly deprivation of rapid eye movement sleep, but the underlying brain mechanisms were not known.

Most of what we understand of the brain has come from research on neurons, but another type of largely-ignored cell, called glia, are their partners. Although historically thought of as a support cell for neurons, the Phil Haydon group at Tufts University School of Medicine has shown in animal models that a type of glia, called astrocytes, affect behavior.

Haydon's team had established previously that astrocytes regulate responses to sleep deprivation by releasing neurotransmitters that regulate neurons. This regulation of neuronal activity affects the sleep-wake cycle. Specifically, astrocytes act on adenosine receptors on neurons. Adenosine is a chemical known to have sleep-inducing effects.

During our waking hours, adenosine accumulates and increases the urge to sleep, known as sleep pressure. Chemicals, such as caffeine, are adenosine receptor antagonists and promote wakefulness. In contrast, an adenosine receptor agonist creates sleepiness.

"In this study, we administered three doses of an adenosine receptor agonist to mice over the course of a night that caused the equivalent of sleep deprivation. The mice slept as normal, but the sleep did not reduce adenosine levels sufficiently, mimicking the effects of sleep deprivation. After only 12 hours, we observed that mice had decreased depressive-like symptoms and increased levels of adenosine in the brain, and these results were sustained for 48 hours," said first author Dustin Hines, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the department of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM).

"By manipulating astrocytes we were able to mimic the effects of sleep deprivation on depressive-like symptoms, causing a rapid and sustained improvement in behavior," continued Hines.

"Further understanding of astrocytic signaling and the role of adenosine is important for research and development of anti-depressant drugs. Potentially, new drugs that target this mechanism may provide rapid relief for psychiatric emergencies, as well as long-term alleviation of chronic depressive symptoms," said Naomi Rosenberg, Ph.D., dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and vice dean for research at Tufts University School of Medicine. "The team's next step is to further understand the other receptors in this system and see if they, too, can be affected."


'/>"/>

Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Kentucky team inhibits Alzheimers biomarkers in animal model by targeting astrocytes
2. Predictors identified for rehospitalization among post-acute stroke patients
3. 2 repressor genes identified as essential for placental development
4. Possible new cancer treatment identified
5. Gene Behind Psoriasis Identified, Researchers Say
6. A microRNA prognostic marker identified in acute leukemia
7. Early biomarker for pancreatic cancer identified
8. The cells petrol pump is finally identified
9. Mutations in JAK3 gene identified in subtype of lymphoma provide potential drug target
10. New cerebellar ataxia gene identified in dogs
11. Misidentified and contaminated cell lines lead to faulty cancer science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2017)... ... April 29, 2017 , ... More than half of Americans suffering from ... in their leisure time that causes hearing loss? May 1 marks the beginning of ... to hearing loss, as well as schedule a hearing evaluation for anyone with concerns ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Accreditation Commission for Health Care ... of America (HCAOA). This agreement allows HCAOA members to receive special pricing on ... on Accreditation University (AU) educational resources that help prepare HCAOA members for ACHC ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey ... “A” and its outlook as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned ... recent years, dip below “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... tubes . These lamps offer an instant energy-saving solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps ... fixtures or disconnect ballasts. These 50,000 hour rated lamps utilize the existing electronic ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... The ... plaque in recently to the labor and delivery team at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance ... mothers who give birth at the hospital and decide to donate. , “Women’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017 Viverae ® , a ... the integration of IBM ® Watson Campaign Automation, ... targeted communications for a personalized experience. Through digital engagement, ... their health in real time. The enhanced experience drives ... to members, wherever they are in their journey to ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Astute Medical, Inc., ... case series to be presented at the 2017 National ... begins today and continues through April 22. Physicians will ... , used to assess risk for acute kidney injury ... heart failure (ADHF). Elevated levels of ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Socionext Inc. and SOINN Inc. today ... in which Socionext extracts and delivers biometrics data ... initial results in reading ultrasound images from Socionext,s ... The results will be introduced at Medtec Japan, ... booths 4505 & 4507. In this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: