Depression Treatment: Revisiting Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the Therapeutic Potential of “Uptake-2” in Psychiatric Disorders.

Revisiting Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the Therapeutic Potential of “Uptake-2” in Psychiatric Disorders.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2013 Jan 16; 4(1): 16-21
Daws LC, Koek W, Mitchell NC

Depression is among the most common psychiatric disorders, and in many patients a disorder for which available medications provide suboptimal or no symptom relief. The most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are thought to act by increasing extracellular serotonin in brain by blocking its uptake via the high-affinity serotonin transporter (SERT). However, the relative lack of therapeutic efficacy of SSRIs has brought into question the utility of increasing extracellular serotonin for the treatment of depression. In this Viewpoint, we discuss why increasing extracellular serotonin should not be written off as a therapeutic strategy. We describe how “uptake-2” transporters may explain the relative lack of therapeutic efficacy of SSRIs, as well as why “uptake-2” transporters might be useful therapeutic targets.
HubMed – depression


Non-Hebbian spike-timing-dependent plasticity in cerebellar circuits.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Neural Circuits. 2012; 6: 124
Piochon C, Kruskal P, Maclean J, Hansel C

Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) provides a cellular implementation of the Hebb postulate, which states that synapses, whose activity repeatedly drives action potential firing in target cells, are potentiated. At glutamatergic synapses onto hippocampal and neocortical pyramidal cells, synaptic activation followed by spike firing in the target cell causes long-term potentiation (LTP)-as predicted by Hebb-whereas excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) evoked after a spike elicit long-term depression (LTD)-a phenomenon that was not specifically addressed by Hebb. In both instances the action potential in the postsynaptic target neuron is an instructive signal that is capable of supporting synaptic plasticity. STDP generally relies on the propagation of Na(+) action potentials that are initiated in the axon hillhock back into the dendrite, where they cause depolarization and boost local calcium influx. However, recent studies in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons have suggested that local calcium spikes might provide a more efficient trigger for LTP induction than backpropagating action potentials. Dendritic calcium spikes also play a role in an entirely different type of STDP that can be observed in cerebellar Purkinje cells. These neurons lack backpropagating Na(+) spikes. Instead, plasticity at parallel fiber (PF) to Purkinje cell synapses depends on the relative timing of PF-EPSPs and activation of the glutamatergic climbing fiber (CF) input that causes dendritic calcium spikes. Thus, the instructive signal in this system is externalized. Importantly when EPSPs are elicited before CF activity, PF-LTD is induced rather than LTP. Thus, STDP in the cerebellum follows a timing rule that is opposite to its hippocampal/neocortical counterparts. Regardless, a common motif in plasticity is that LTD/LTP induction depends on the relative timing of synaptic activity and regenerative dendritic spikes which are driven by the instructive signal.
HubMed – depression


Seeking a unified framework for cerebellar function and dysfunction: from circuit operations to cognition.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Neural Circuits. 2012; 6: 116
D’Angelo E, Casali S

Following the fundamental recognition of its involvement in sensory-motor coordination and learning, the cerebellum is now also believed to take part in the processing of cognition and emotion. This hypothesis is recurrent in numerous papers reporting anatomical and functional observations, and it requires an explanation. We argue that a similar circuit structure in all cerebellar areas may carry out various operations using a common computational scheme. On the basis of a broad review of anatomical data, it is conceivable that the different roles of the cerebellum lie in the specific connectivity of the cerebellar modules, with motor, cognitive, and emotional functions (at least partially) segregated into different cerebro-cerebellar loops. We here develop a conceptual and operational framework based on multiple interconnected levels (a meta-levels hypothesis): from cellular/molecular to network mechanisms leading to generation of computational primitives, thence to high-level cognitive/emotional processing, and finally to the sphere of mental function and dysfunction. The main concept explored is that of intimate interplay between timing and learning (reminiscent of the “timing and learning machine” capabilities long attributed to the cerebellum), which reverberates from cellular to circuit mechanisms. Subsequently, integration within large-scale brain loops could generate the disparate cognitive/emotional and mental functions in which the cerebellum has been implicated. We propose, therefore, that the cerebellum operates as a general-purpose co-processor, whose effects depend on the specific brain centers to which individual modules are connected. Abnormal functioning in these loops could eventually contribute to the pathogenesis of major brain pathologies including not just ataxia but also dyslexia, autism, schizophrenia, and depression.
HubMed – depression


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