Neurotrophic factors and neuroplasticity pathways in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression

Marion J. F. Levy, Fabien Boulle, Harry W. Steinbusch, Daniel L. A. van den Hove, Gunter Kenis, Laurence Lanfumey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

110 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Depression is a major health problem with a high prevalence and a heavy socioeconomic burden in western societies. It is associated with atrophy and impaired functioning of cortico-limbic regions involved in mood and emotion regulation. It has been suggested that alterations in neurotrophins underlie impaired neuroplasticity, which may be causally related to the development and course of depression. Accordingly, mounting evidence suggests that antidepressant treatment may exert its beneficial effects by enhancing trophic signaling on neuronal and synaptic plasticity. However, current antidepressants still show a delayed onset of action, as well as lack of efficacy. Hence, a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of depression, as well as in the action of antidepressants, might provide further insight to drive the development of novel fast-acting and more effective therapies. Here, we summarize the current literature on the involvement of neurotrophic factors in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression. Further, we advocate that future development of antidepressants should be based on the neurotrophin theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2220
Number of pages26
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume235
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Growth factors
  • Neurocircuits
  • Plasticity
  • Antidepressant
  • Mood
  • GROWTH-FACTOR-I
  • DEEP BRAIN-STIMULATION
  • BDNF VAL66MET POLYMORPHISM
  • LONG-TERM POTENTIATION
  • ADULT HIPPOCAMPAL NEUROGENESIS
  • TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION
  • MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUG TREATMENTS
  • CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM
  • SOCIAL DEFEAT STRESS

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