Depression

The Neuronal Mechanisms for the Involvement of BDNF in Depression
2006 Seed Grant
Ya-Ping Tang, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Chicago

BDNF has been implicated in both the pathogenesis of depression and the therapeutic action of many anti depression treatments. However, how BDNF is involved in these processes is currently unclear. In this proposal, by using the tTA/tetO inducible gene manipulation system, Dr. Tang and his lab have generated a specific BDNF transgenic mouse strain, in which the overexpression of BDNF is both forebrain-specific and controllable. With this mouse model, they plan to determine whether the effect of BDNFon anti depression is due to an acute effect or a chronic effect of BDNF overexpression by turning its expression on or off during the different behavioral processes. Furthermore, by determining whether there is an association between the effects of BDNF overexpression on synaptogenesis and the effects of BDNF overexpression on antidepressive behaviors, they are able to establish the role of BDNF-mediated synaptogenesis in anti-depression.

The effects of currently available medications for major depression are very limited, which makes it still a major medical or social problem in this country. It is Dr. Tang’s expectation that this study may provide important evidence to show how BDNF, or how BDNF-mediated synaptogenesis, is involved in anti depression. The determination of the role of BDNF-mediated synaptogenesis in anti-depression is of fundamental interest in finding a new therapeutic strategy for depression, which may eventually lead to successfully prevent or cure this major mental illness.

Other Grants

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University
Uncovering a Novel Role for Primary Cilia in Eph/Ephrin Signaling in Neurons
2022 Seed GrantSarah C. Goetz, Ph.D. Duke University Women’s Council Seed Grant Primary cilia are tiny projections from cells that function like an antenna- they receive and may also send…
Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University
Circadian Regulation of Oligodendroglial Senescence and Metabolomics in Aging
2022 Seed GrantErin M. Gibson, Ph.D.Stanford University The brain consists of two main classes of cells, neurons and glia. Glia make-up more than half of the cells in the brain…
Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Dynamic Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity During Spatial Exploration
2022 Seed GrantYvette Fisher, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley The Virginia (Ginny) & Roger Carlson Seed Grant Cognitive flexibility is critical for appropriately adjusting thoughts and behaviors to meet changing demands…
Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Unique Vulnerability of Developing Human Cerebral Cortex to Loss of Centrosomal Protein
2022 Seed GrantByoung Il Bae, Ph.D.University of Connecticut Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Seed Grant The cerebral cortex is the largest and outermost part of the human brain. It is…