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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Dec;21(6):858-65. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.03.005. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

New views on antidepressant action.

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Cellules souches, Signalisation et Prions, INSERM U747, Université Paris Descartes, 75006 Paris, France.


The increasing incidence of depressive spectrum disorders worldwide, together with the failure of current medication to effectively treat a significant proportion of cases, calls for a better knowledge of the physiopathology of depression and of the therapeutic action of antidepressants. Recent research has unveiled an array of new mechanisms through which antidepressant drugs help restore neuronal plasticity and neurotransmission. In this review, we summarize the latest advances in the field, focusing on the effectors and molecular pathways that sustain the action of antidepressants. Grasping the overall brain response to antidepressants, with an integrated overview of the neurotransmitter systems, signaling cascades and neural circuits at play, should help to design more potent and selective therapies.

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