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:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, ... biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced two key appointments ... company’s continued investment and strategic growth plans in the Asia Pacific region. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Leadership of Life ... announced the organization has earned its ISO 13485 certification, indicating the company’s quality ... all rules and policies associated with ISO quality standard 13485. , BSI ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... researcher, founder of Mehling Orthopedics and chief medical officer of Blue Horizon International ... Disease and Regeneration. The conference was held during May 5-6, 2016 in Chicago, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... OncLive® , ... National Cancer Institute-designated University of Virginia (UVA) Cancer Center to its ... editorial and marketing teams will publicize and promote public awareness of UVA Cancer ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Metcalf & Associates’ ... 20 years of experience in leading technology and human resources operations for health ... teaching, Morrow-Fox will be featured on Metcalf’s VoiceAmerica radio show , Innovative ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25, 2016 Digital Health Dialog, LLC ... by the US Patent and Trademark Office of ... proprietary processes for electronic opt-­in and processing of ... programs, HIPAA compliance and otherwise. Logo - ... "Our technology allows for individuals to ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Niederländische Chirurgen ... die es Ärzten erlaubt, ihre Expertise weltweit zu ... kombiniert Live Streaming mit einer Instant-Messaging-Funktion und der ... Mediziner in Europa, Afrika, Asien und den ... die Plattform registriert. Information und Weiterbildung   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers from a ... from the inside out.  This disease has put her ... her children and grandchildren to leave her home.  Because ... family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if there is ... and Diana is left to wait for the bus. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: