Neural plasticity and proliferation in the generation of antidepressant effects: hippocampal implication
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AuthorPilar Cuéllar, María Fuencisla; Vidal Casado, Rebeca; Díaz Martínez, Álvaro; Castro Fernández, María Elena; Anjos, Severiano dos; Pascual Brazo, Jesús; Linge Méndez, Raquel; Vargas, Verónica Inés; Blanco Gómez, Helena; Martínez Villayandre, Beatriz; Pazos Carro, Ángel; Valdizán Ruiz, Elsa María
It is widely accepted that changes underlying depression and antidepressant-like effects involve not only alterations in the levels of neurotransmitters as monoamines and their receptors in the brain, but also structural and functional changes far beyond. During the last two decades, emerging theories are providing new explanations about the neurobiology of depression and the mechanism of action of antidepressant strategies based on cellular changes at the CNS level. The neurotrophic/plasticity hypothesis of depression, proposed more than a decade ago, is now supported by multiple basic and clinical studies focused on the role of intracellular-signalling cascades that govern neural proliferation and plasticity. Herein, we review the state-of-the-art of the changes in these signalling pathways which appear to underlie both depressive disorders and antidepressant actions. We will especially focus on the hippocampal cellularity and plasticity modulation by serotonin, trophic factors as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) through intracellular signalling pathways-cAMP, Wnt/ β -catenin, and mTOR. Connecting the classic monoaminergic hypothesis with proliferation/neuroplasticity-related evidence is an appealing and comprehensive attempt for improving our knowledge about the neurobiological events leading to depression and associated to antidepressant therapies.
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