Navigation Links
Studies seek better understanding and treatment of depression
Date:8/14/2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. Connecting the dots between two molecules whose levels are decreased in depression and increased by current antidepressants could yield new therapies, researchers say.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that enables brain cells to communicate and brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF, is a brain-nourishing molecule that also aids connectivity. Popular antidepressants such as Prozac, developed to increase levels of serotonin, have recently been found to also increase BDNF levels, said Dr. Anilkumar Pillai, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

"We don't know how the molecule, serotonin, which is well-studied in depression, regulates BDNF signaling," Pillai said. He's principal investigator on a five year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to help him make the connection

He suspects a critical piece is the protein transglutaminase 2, or TG2, expressed by brain cells and most other cell types. TG2 plays a role in natural serotonin recycling and potentially is a factor in the serotonin deficiency associated with depression. It also may help explain why levels of serotonin and BDNF seem to rise and fall in sync, Pillai said.

TG2 coverts serotonin to Rac1, a protein that helps rejuvenate BDNF receptors, which typically sit on the surface of brain cells but must periodically move inside to reinvigorate. Depression appears to upset the balance of these complex, critical inner workings. Pillai hypothesizes that the high levels he has found in depression, likely result in too much serotonin conversion leaving too little of the neurotransmitter to properly support brain cell communication. Instead, more Rac1 is produced but inexplicably its degradation also increases ultimately decreasing BDNF signaling as well.

Pillai has seen the unfortunate chain of events play out in an animal model with increased levels of TG2 and clear signs of depression. "If you can fix problems with the receptor, you should be able to reverse depressive symptoms in these mice," he said

One of the many questions he wants to answer is whether existing antidepressants impact TG2. To help clarify the role of the impaired BDNF receptors, Pillai also wants to know whether giving BDNF to the depressed animal model improves depression. He's using a viral particle to directly activate the BDNF receptor. And he's also giving the TG2 inhibitor cysteamine to an animal model developed by administering stress hormones. He recently published in the journal PLoS ONE findings that the inhibitor appears effective in normalizing depressive behavior and BDNF levels in that model. Mental stress is a major factor in numerous psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia and anxiety, he noted.

Some antidepressants, such as Prozac, were designed to interfere with a natural recycling of serotonin called reuptake so more serotonin is available where needed to enable cell communication. Pillai said it's not yet clear if serotonin reuptake is the same thing as its conversion to Rac-1.

"We need to learn more about how all these pieces fit to ultimately design new therapies for depression and related psychiatric disorders," he said. Dr. Alvin V. Terry Jr., MCG pharmacologist, is co-investigator on the studies.

Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in Americans age 15-44, affects about 14.8 million adults and is more prevalent in women, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. First targeted nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies
2. Joint-Replacement Failure Rate Higher for Smokers: Studies
3. IADR/AADR publish studies on severe early childhood caries - proposes new classification
4. ASCO releases studies from upcoming annual meeting
5. University studies and career expectations of medical students
6. Studies See Advances in Detecting, Treating Pancreatic Cancer
7. IU bisexuality studies focus on health, behavior and identity
8. The REMARK checklist explained: How to use guidelines on reporting tumor marker prognostic studies
9. New Drug Effective for Rare Genetic Skin Cancer: Studies
10. 2 new studies show connection between sleepiness and pro-athlete careers
11. No Cancer Risk From Long-Acting Insulin: Studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Studies seek better understanding and treatment of depression
(Date:8/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 23, 2017 , ... ... of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons , points out that therapeutic ... suffering from pain or injury. According to the report, a wider scope of ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... The old adage “you are what ... eating healthy foods. But this well-known piece of nutrition advice ignores that an ... carbohydrates—depends not only on properties of the food but also on properties of ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... del Rey, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 22, ... ... of revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions, announced recently the availability of a new ... HIM community in appreciation for their service to the healthcare industry. E/M coding ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... “Wilderness Voices”: a collection of poetry inspired by life on a Kentucky ... published author, Martha McKown, an ordained United Methodist minister with graduate degrees in Religious ... her older sisters studied High School literature. She loved the early English folk ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... is the Founder and Managing Member for t4 Leadership Development & Consulting. He ... to his definition of “success”: physician leadership development, servant leadership, data driven process ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... Inc. announced today that its fully owned USA ... York City Office in Yonkers, New York ... (TWO 2 ) homecare therapy. This new East Coast location has ... under the company,s DMEPOS accreditation for Home/Durable Medical Equipment Services. ... Advanced Oxygen Therapy Inc. New ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... 11, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a ... big data solutions, today announced that it will release ... and host a conference call at 9:00am ET. The ... financial results and its strategy and outlook for the ... Erez Raphael , Chief Executive Officer, and ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... Aug. 8, 2017  BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ/TASE: BLRX), a ... reports its financial results for the second quarter ended ... the second quarter 2017 and to date: ... development programs for the Company,s lead project, BL-8040: ... study with BL-8040 as novel stem cell mobilization treatment ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: