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Pharmacogenomics J. 2002;2(6):377-82.

Differential expression of VAMP2/synaptobrevin-2 after antidepressant and electroconvulsive treatment in rat frontal cortex.

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Department of Pharmacology, Showa University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokyo, Japan.


The biological basis for the therapeutic mechanisms of depression is still unknown. We have previously performed expressed-sequence tag (EST) analysis to identify some molecular machinery responsible for antidepressant effect. Then, we developed our original cDNA microarray, on which cDNA fragments identified as antidepressant-related genes/ESTs were spotted. In this study, with this microarray followed by Western blot analysis, we have demonstrated the induction of vesicle-associated membrane protein 2(VAMP2/synaptobrevin-2) in rat frontal cortex not only after chronic antidepressant treatment, but also after repeated electroconvulsive treatment. On the other hand, expression of SNAP-25 and syntaxin-1 was not changed by these treatments. These components make a soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor complex with VAMP2 and mediate the synaptic vesicle docking/fusion machinery. In conclusion, it is suggested that VAMP2/synaptobrevin-2 plays important roles in the antidepressant effects. Our results may contribute to a novel model for the therapeutic mechanism of depression and new molecular targets for the development of therapeutic agents.

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