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Induction of neuroserpin expression in rat frontal cortex after chronic antidepressant treatment and electroconvulsive treatment.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Showa University School of Medicine.


Using expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis, we previously identified certain molecular machinery that mediates antidepressant effects. To date, several partial cDNA fragments, termed antidepressant-related genes (ADRGs), have been isolated as ESTs from rat brain. In the present study, we identified two of the ADRGs to be rat neuroserpin. Using real-time quantitative PCR, we demonstrated increased neuroserpin mRNA expression in rat frontal cortex after chronic treatment with several classes of antidepressants, including imipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine. Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT), another therapeutic treatment for depression, also increased neuroserpin expression in rat frontal cortex. Neuroserpin is a serine protease inhibitor that is implicated in the regulation of synaptic plasticity, neuronal migration, and axogenesis in the central nervous system. In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that neuroserpin-mediated plastic changes in frontal cortex may underlie the therapeutic action of antidepressants and ECT.

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