Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of action of psychoactive substances as novel antidepressants

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Title: Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of action of psychoactive substances as novel antidepressants
Authors: Großert, Alessandra
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Nicole Teusch
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schörken
Abstract: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide with more than 300 million patients affected. Current antidepressants have a delayed onset of action and moreover, only two-thirds of patients suffering from depressive disorder respond to antidepressant drug treatment. The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine offers promising perspectives for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Although ketamine demonstrates rapid and long-lasting effects, even in treatment-resistant patients, to date, the underlying mode of action remains elusive. Thus, the aim of this thesis was to investigate the molecular mechanism of ketamine and its major metabolites at clinically relevant concentrations by establishing an in vitro model based on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs). As the pathophysiology of depression correlates with decreased adult neurogenesis, I aimed to investigate the molecular effects of ketamine on neural progenitor cell proliferation using a human-based iPSC-model. The findings from this thesis substantially contribute to an enhanced understanding of the molecular mode of action of ketamine as a novel signaling pathway involved in ketamine-induced effects was identified. Ketamine induced proliferation of human iPSC-derived NPCs and bioinformatic analysis of RNA-Seq data revealed significant upregulation of insulin-like growth factor2 (IGF2) and p11, a member of the S100 EF-hand protein family, which are both implicated in the pathophysiology of depression, 24 hours after ketamine treatment. In line with this, ketamine dependent proliferation was significantly impaired after IGF2 knockdown. Moreover, ketamine was able to enhance cAMP signaling in NPCs and both, cell proliferation as well as IGF2 expression, were reduced after protein kinase A (PKA)-inhibition. Noteworthy, the Nestin-expressing NPCs do not express functional NMDA receptors, suggesting that the proproliferative effect of ketamine in NPCs is NMDA receptor-independent. Furthermore, 24 hours post administration of ketamine (15 mg/kg) in vivo confirmed phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus in C57BL/6 mice. In conclusion, ketamine promotes proliferation of NPCs presumably by involving cAMP-IGF2 signaling.
URL: https://repositorium.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-202003312713
Subject Keywords: Depression; Ketamine; Human iPSC-derived NPCs; IGF2; Neurogenesis
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2020
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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