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New model for probing antidepressant actions
Date:2/18/2011

normal activity in clearing serotonin from the synapses between nerve cells. But the mice did not respond to Prozac or Lexapro, indicating that the transporter is indeed the specific target of these medications for blocking serotonin inactivation.

"Interestingly, one SSRI, paroxetine (Paxil), retains its normal powerful action on the transporter, revealing that -- at a molecular level -- different antidepressants interact with the transporter in different ways," Blakely said.

The researchers are now evaluating chronic administration of SSRIs to determine how much the transporter contributes to the more clinically relevant, delayed effects of these drugs, as well as for the side effects experience with antidepressant medications.

Because the serotonin transporter in the mouse also lost cocaine sensitivity, the model also may help researchers determine exactly how cocaine acts in the brain. "Perhaps what started as a hunt for better ways to treat depression may also spill over into a better understanding of addiction," Blakely said.


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Contact: Bill Snyder
bill.snyder@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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