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We investigated whether fluoxetine, a widely prescribed medication for treatment of depression, restores neuronal plasticity in the adult visual system of the rat. We found that chronic administration of fluoxetine reinstates ocular dominance plasticity in adulthood and promotes the recovery of visual functions in adult amblyopic animals, as tested(More)
Antidepressants increase proliferation of neuronal progenitor cells and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus. We investigated the role of BDNF signaling in antidepressant-induced neurogenesis by using transgenic mice with either reduced BDNF levels (BDNF+/-) or impaired trkB activation (trkB.T1-overexpressing mice). In(More)
Recent studies have indicated that exogenously administered neurotrophins produce antidepressant-like behavioral effects. We have here investigated the role of endogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor trkB in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. We found that trkB.T1-overexpressing transgenic mice, which show reduced(More)
Specific sensory input has profound transient and long-lasting effects on the function of corresponding sensory cortical areas both during development and in adulthood. To study whether neurotrophic factors might play a role in such processes, we investigated the effects of light on the nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA(More)
Antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy combined are more effective in treating mood disorders than either treatment alone, but the neurobiological basis of this interaction is unknown. To investigate how antidepressants influence the response of mood-related systems to behavioral experience, we used a fear-conditioning and extinction paradigm in mice.(More)
DNA microarray technologies together with rapidly increasing genomic sequence information is leading to an explosion in available gene expression data. Currently there is a great need for efficient methods to analyze and visualize these massive data sets. A self-organizing map (SOM) is an unsupervised neural network learning algorithm which has been(More)
The past decade has witnessed a growing interest in the trophic effects of antidepressant drugs. Antidepressants stimulate the production and signaling of plasticity-related proteins such as neurotrophins and cAMP response element binding protein, and neurotrophin signaling appears to be both sufficient and necessary for antidepressant action in rodents.(More)
Cortical circuitries are highly sensitive to experience during early life but this phase of heightened plasticity decreases with development. We recently demonstrated that fluoxetine reinstates a juvenile-like form of plasticity in the adult visual system. Here we explored cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the occurrence of these plastic(More)
The chemical hypothesis of depression suggests that mood disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can be corrected by antidepressant drugs. However, recent evidence indicates that problems in information processing within neural networks, rather than changes in chemical balance, might underlie depression, and that antidepressant(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and NGF are both expressed by neurons in the hippocampus. In previous studies, it has been demonstrated that both BDNF and NGF mRNA levels are regulated by neuronal activity. Upregulation is predominantly regulated by the glutamate (NMDA and non-NMDA receptors); downregulation, predominantly by the GABA system (Zafra(More)