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Lookup NU author(s): Mel LeitchORCiD,
Professor Colin Ingram,
Professor Allan Young,
Dr Richard McQuade,
Dr Sasha Gartside
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Depression is associated with glucocorticoid abnormalities, in particular a flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. Recent data suggest that an important factor in the aetiology of depression may be a deficit in the function and expression of 5-HT(1A) receptors, which has been reported in depressed patients. The present study assessed the possibility that this cortisol abnormality is causal in the 5-HT(1A) receptor deficits. First, a rat model of flattened glucocorticoid rhythm was developed. Controlled release corticosterone pellets implanted for 14 days flattened the corticosterone rhythm and maintained levels constant midway between the nadir and zenith levels observed in sham-operated rats. Secondly, using microdialysis to assess 5-HT release in the hippocampus, the inhibitory response to 8-OHDPAT was measured to determine the sensitivity of somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors. Corticosterone treatment was found to induce a significant attenuation in the response to 8-OHDPAT, indicating functional desensitization of somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors. There was no effect of corticosterone treatment on basal extracellular 5-HT levels. The data suggest that the glucocorticoid abnormalities associated with depression may impact on the functioning of 5-HT(1A) receptors in the brain. These findings suggest that resolution of cortisol abnormalities may be a valuable target for pharmacotherapy in the treatment of depression.
Author(s): Leitch MM, Ingram CD, Young AH, McQuade R, Gartside SE
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Print publication date: 01/01/2003
ISSN (print): 0893-133X
ISSN (electronic): 1470-634X
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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