Triggering Resilience to Depression

 – April 17, 2014  –– 

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have reversed depression-like behaviors in mice in an unexpected way. Rather than silencing the hyperactive neurons that triggered the rodents’ symptoms, the team boosted their activity even further. This triggered a compensatory, self-tuning response that brought the neurons’ firing—and the rodents’ behaviors — back to normal. “It could give us new avenues for treating depression that are conceptually very different to the classical therapeutic strategy,” said study lead Ming-Hu Han, MD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Allyson Friedman, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, noted that the mice also had a stronger inhibitory current, which cancels out the excitatory Ih one. These currents balance each other out to make the dopamine neurons resistant to perturbations, and the mice resilient to stress.


-Dr. Ming-Hu Han, Assistant Professor, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
-Allyson Friedman, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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