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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2018 March;177(3 Suppl 1):97-103

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.17.03726-3

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Role of dendritic spines in pathophysiology of depression

Eliyahu DREMENCOV 1, 2, 3 , Maksim LAPSHIN 3, Maria KOMELKOVA 3, Olga TSEILIKMAN 3, 4, Vadim TSEILIKMAN 3

1 Institute of Molecular Physiology and Genetics, Center for Biosciences, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia; 2 Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia; 3 High Biomedical School, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia; 4 Institute of Sport, Tourism, and Service, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia


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Depression is a severe disorder of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by multiple emotional, cognitive, and neuroendocrine malfunctions. The lack of the objective diagnostic means for depression and limited efficacy of the existing antidepressants make depression the second major reason for disability and the costliest medical condition in Europe. There is a strong evidence that depression is an organic disease of the CNS rather than simple mood perturbation. However, the exact biomarkers directly linked with depression, such as Lewy Bodies in Parkinson disease, not yet discovered. It can be hypothesizing that the organic brain abnormalities directly linked with depression can be detected on the level of subcellular neuronal structures, such as dendritic spines. Four lines of evidence support the hypothesis that dendritic spines are involved in pathophysiology of depression. Firstly, dendritic spines are the basic information processing units of the brain, and depression can be seen a disorder characterized by impaired information processing. Secondly, dendritic spines are heavily expressed in the limbic areas of the brain, which are responsible for the brain functions impaired in depression. Thirdly, dendritic spines are regulated by monoamines, which are primary target of all known antidepressant drugs. Finally, there are initial reports that antidepressant drugs amend density and morphology of dendritic spines in animal models.


KEY WORDS: Depression - Biomarkers - Nanoparticles - Dendritic spines

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