Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Depressed Mouse Needs Long-Term Treatment

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Science's STKE  14 Feb 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 322, pp. tw65
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3222006tw65

What are the neurobiological mechanisms through which psychosocial experience may alter the activity of the mesolimbic dopamine system? Berton et al. demonstrate that long-lasting behavioral and molecular changes develop in mice after they suffer a series of aggressive encounters. The persistent social aversion seen in these mice can be completely normalized by chronic (but not acute) treatment with clinically effective antidepressants. The growth factor brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is required within dopaminergic reward regions for these behavioral alterations to unfold.

O. Berton, C. A. McClung, R. J. DiLeone, V. Krishnan, W. Renthal, S. J. Russo, D. Graham, N. M. Tsankova, C. A. Bolanos, M. Rios, L. M. Monteggia, D. W. Self, E. J. Nestler, Essential role of BDNF in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in social defeat stress. Science 311, 864-868 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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