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Biol Sex Differ. 2014 Dec 7;5(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s13293-014-0017-3. eCollection 2014.

Sex differences in mood disorders: perspectives from humans and rodent models.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA ; Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA ; Departments of Psychiatry, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1R8 Canada.

Abstract

Mood disorders are devastating, often chronic illnesses characterized by low mood, poor affect, and anhedonia. Notably, mood disorders are approximately twice as prevalent in women compared to men. If sex differences in mood are due to underlying biological sex differences, a better understanding of the biology is warranted to develop better treatment or even prevention of these debilitating disorders. In this review, our goals are to: 1) summarize the literature related to mood disorders with respect to sex differences in prevalence, 2) introduce the corticolimbic brain network of mood regulation, 3) discuss strategies and challenges of modeling mood disorders in mice, 4) discuss mechanisms underlying sex differences and how these can be tested in mice, and 5) discuss how our group and others have used a translational approach to investigate mechanisms underlying sex differences in mood disorders in humans and mice.

KEYWORDS:

Corticolimbic; Four core genotypes (FCG); Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA); Major depressive disorder; Sex difference; Somatostatin

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