Thursday, January 17, 2013
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Targeting ventral tegmental
area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons to treat depression
Targeting a subset of
dopaminergic neurons could be useful for reducing depression-related
behaviors. In mice, optogenetic induction of a phasic firing pattern in VTA
dopaminergic neurons in mice increased susceptibility to social defeat stress
and depression-related behaviors compared with induction of a tonic firing
pattern. In mice and rats, optogenetic inhibition of VTA dopaminergic neurons
increased depression-related behaviors compared with no inhibition. Next
steps could include developing pharmacological agents to modulate the
activity of VTA neurons.
Published online Jan. 17, 2013
Patent and licensing status
for both studies unavailable
Chaudhury, D. et al.
Nature; published online Dec. 12, 2012;
Contact: Ming-Hu Han, Mount Sinai School of Medicine,
New York, N.Y.
Tye, K.M. et al. Nature; published online Dec. 12, 2012;
Contact: Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University, Stanford,
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