Navigation Links
Pitt researchers build a better mouse model to study depression
Date:5/18/2011

PITTSBURGH, May 19 - Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have developed a mouse model of major depressive disorder (MDD) that is based on a rare genetic mutation that appears to cause MDD in the majority of people who inherit it. The findings, which were published online today in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics EarlyView, could help to clarify the brain events that lead to MDD, and contribute to the development of new and better means of treatment and prevention. This report also illustrates an advance in the design of recombinant mouse models that should be applicable to many human diseases.

"Major depressive disorder is a leading cause of suffering, disability and premature death from all causes including suicide. While the cause currently is unknown, twin and adoption studies indicate that genetic factors account for 40 to 70 percent of the risk for developing this common disorder," explained lead author George Zubenko, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine.

"In this report, we describe how we constructed a laboratory mouse strain that mimics the brain mechanism that leads to major depression in humans, rather than symptoms," he said. "Nonetheless, in our initial characterization, the mutant mice exhibited several features that were reminiscent of the human disorder, including alterations of brain anatomy, gene expression, behavior, as well as increased infant mortality."

"These findings support the role of the genetic variant in the development of MDD, and affirm the mutant mouse strain as a model of MDD worthy of further study," Dr. Zubenko said. Hugh B. Hughes, III, M.S., served as the co-author of this report.

Previous studies of families with a severe and strongly familial form of MDD revealed a mutation in the control region of CREB1, a gene that orchestrates the expression of many other genes that play important roles in normal brain functioning. Mice have a CREB1 gene that is very similar to the human version and, with the aid of genetic engineering techniques, the researchers were able to establish a mutant mouse strain that bore the same genetic error. Since the control regions of corresponding human and mouse genes often have regions of high similarity, the methods described in this report may be useful in creating mouse models of other human diseases.

"Treatments that are the most effective and produce the fewest side effects typically address the root causes of the disease," Dr. Zubenko noted. "Animal models that recapitulate those root causes should better inform us about the brain mechanisms that lead to MDD, and have the best chance of leading to advances in treatment and prevention."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers discover that lymphocyte count indicates prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma
2. Researchers home in on genetic signature of esophageal cancer
3. Legendary Hollywood directors and renowned researchers awarded 2011 Dan David Prizes
4. Columbia researchers work to prevent blindness from age-related macular degeneration
5. Hebrew University researchers show octopuses make some pretty good moves
6. Penn researchers identify the roots of memory impairment resulting from sleep deprivation
7. Researchers discover underlying mechanisms of skin hardening syndromes
8. Researchers examine procedure utilization trends in patients with clinically localized renal masses
9. Researchers identify DNA region linked to depression
10. Researchers move closer to identifying new class of asthma, COPD drugs
11. CWRU researchers call for changing how research is done
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) ... at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 physical therapists across the country are expected ... learn more about their chosen field and network with their colleagues. As in ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series is a ... create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, including coaching ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally ... a charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for ... School. , “My school is in a low-income area and has more than 60 ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... the Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in ... social skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... and surrounding communities by continuing it’s commitment to act as Agents of Change ... organization works closely with area homeless families to fulfill immediate needs and help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  Memorial Hermann Health System has teamed up ... to bring a one-of-a-kind experience to pediatric patients at ... such as 360-degree video and Google Cardboard, Howard was ... – giving the patients and their families an unexpected, ... caught on video . Memorial Hermann ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, surgeons at ... North Austin Medical Center successfully completed the first robotic ... Surgical System with Trumpf Medical,s advanced operating table, ... , M.D., colorectal surgeon at the Texas Institute for ... Motion technology, which seamlessly combines the da Vinci Xi ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) today announced that ... regimen patent would not presently be infringed by Actavis marketing ... Italy and Spain ... solution.  --> --> ... that Lilly,s patent would be indirectly infringed by Actavis marketing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: