Research Article

Requirement of Hippocampal Neurogenesis for the Behavioral Effects of Antidepressants

Science  08 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5634, pp. 805-809
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083328

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Abstract

Various chronic antidepressant treatments increase adult hippocampal neurogenesis, but the functional importance of this phenomenon remains unclear. Here, using genetic and radiological methods, we show that disrupting antidepressant-induced neurogenesis blocks behavioral responses to antidepressants. Serotonin 1A receptor null mice were insensitive to the neurogenic and behavioral effects of fluoxetine, a serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor. X-irradiation of a restricted region of mouse brain containing the hippocampus prevented the neurogenic and behavioral effects of two classes of antidepressants. These findings suggest that the behavioral effects of chronic antidepressants may be mediated by the stimulation of neurogenesis in the hippocampus.

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