MSU researchers find gender specific depression neurons

Michigan
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Researchers found specific neurons that regulate stress.

Michigan State University scientists found neurons in the ventral hippocampus of mice that activate during stress and are controlled by testosterone.

“What makes these findings stand out is not only identifying this new circuit,” said A.J. Robison, MSU physiologist and lead author of the study, “but also observing and confirming how it drives different behaviors in males and females.”

Depression affects women nearly twice as much as men, but oddly enough, many circuit-specific animal model studies involving depression-related behaviors don’t include female subjects.

MSU scientists focused on the specific circuit and saw that the activity in male brains during stress was significantly lower than in females.

When they removed testosterone, however, the male mice began expressing depression-like behaviors. Additionally, increasing testosterone in female brains, the mice became resistant to the depression-like behaviors.

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