Translational new approaches for investigating mood disorders in rodents and what they may reveal about the underlying neurobiology of major depressive disorder

Emma S.J. Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
397 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Mood disorders represent one of society’s most costly and challenging health burdens. The drug treatments used today were initially discovered serendipitously in the 1950s. Animal models were then developed based on the ability of these drugs to alter specific behaviours. These models have played a major role in the development of the second generation of antidepressants. However, their use has been heavily criticized, particularly in relation to whether they recapitulate similar underlying biology to the psychiatric disorder they are proposed to represent. This article considers our work in the field of affective bias and the development of a translational research programme to try to develop and validate better animal models. We discuss whether the new data that have arisen from these studies support an alternative perspective on the underlying neurobiological processes that lead to major depressive disorder (MDD). Specifically, this article will consider whether a neuropsychological mechanism involving affective biases plays a causal role in the development of MDD and its associated emotional and behavioural symptoms. These animal studies also raise the possibility that neuropsychological mechanisms involving affective biases are a precursor to, rather than a consequence of, the neurotrophic changes linked to MDD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170036
JournalPhilosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Volume373
Issue number1742
Early online date19 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Major depressive disorder
  • affective bias
  • animal model
  • neuropsychology
  • neurotrophic

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