Attenuated inhibition of medium spiny neurons participates in the pathogenesis of childhood depression (2014)

Neural Regen Res. 2014 May 15;9(10):1079-88. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.133171.

Liu D, Hu L, Zhang J, Zhang P, Li S.


Accumulating evidence suggests that the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in mechanisms of reward and addiction, plays a role in the pathogenesis of depression and in the action of antidepressants.

In the current study, intraperitoneal injection of nomifensine, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, decreased depression-like behaviors in the Wistar Kyoto rat model of depression in the sucrose-preference and forced swim tests. Nomifensine also reduced membrane excitability in medium spiny neurons in the core of the nucleus accumbens in the childhood Wistar Kyoto rats as evaluated by electrophysiological recording.

In addition, the expression of dopamine D2-like receptor mRNA was downregulated in the nucleus accumbens, striatum and hippocampus of nomifensine-treated childhood Wistar Kyoto rats. These experimental findings indicate that impaired inhibition of medium spiny neurons, mediated by dopamine D2-like receptors, may be involved in the formation of depression-like behavior in childhood Wistar Kyoto rats, and that nomifensine can alleviate depressive behaviors by reducing medium spiny neuron membrane excitability.


MSNs; NSFC grant; Wistar Kyoto rats; brain injury; childhood depression; dopamine D2-like receptors; excitatory inhibition; nerve regeneration; neural plasticity; neural regeneration; neurophysiology; nomifensine; nucleus accumbe