March 20, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Do stress-inducing neurons participate in depression?

Do stress-inducing neurons participate in depression?


  • A study conducted in mice suffering from depression showed that chronic stress inhibits the activity of AgRP neurons, which may contribute to the development of depressive behavior.
  • It is possible to reactivate agripi neurons using synthetic agonist: the depressive disorder disappears.
  • This discovery paves the way for new, more targeted therapies for depression.

AgRP nerve cells are not perfect No good name. Already pinned for their role in assembling food and So in weight gain, These neurons housed in the arcuate nucleus (NA) in the lower part of the hypothalamus may also be involved in inducing depressive states.

This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at the University of Augusta (United States). In a study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, They provide evidence that chronic and unpredictable stress induces changes in the function of AgRP neurons Contributes to depression.

Chronic stress inhibition of AgRP neurons

For Dr. Jin-yun, Director of the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at MCG, “Low number of AgRP neurons is a logical goal for the treatment of depression”. “When we change these neurons, it changes the behavioral responses.” However, many questions remain as to how these AgRP neurons in the brain can help us cope and adapt to unpredictable chronic stress over time.

To study the activity of AgRP neurons under chronic stress, the researchers worked on a depressed mouse model. They found that this type of stress reduces the activity of AgRP: the latter suddenly loses the ability to activate, which increases activation manipulations and alters the normal activation characteristics of AgRP neurons.

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The researchers also used a small molecule to directly block neurons. This makes rats more susceptible to chronic and unpredictable stress and eventually begins depressive behavior. By reactivating the neurons, the classic depressive behaviors such as helplessness and inability to experience happiness disappeared.

More targeted treatments for depression

For doctors, these results are very encouraging and pave the way for the development of more targeted therapies for depression. “We can stimulate these neurons from distance and reverse depression”, She says, explains the possibility of using a synthetic small-molecule agonist‌ that can bind to AgRP neurons to better control their activity.

This method leads “Good ways to treat depression, including more targeted therapies that reduce side effects, are often serious enough to stop taking them.”, Doctors continue to cite weight gain and insomnia among side effects.

While some antidepressants, such as Prozac Impact AGRP neurons, are not yet known, new therapies designed to target neurons are also likely to increase weight due to the role of neurons in neurons. However, eating behavior and metabolism doctors.