Chapter 25

How Does Electroconvulsive Therapy Work in the Brain? –Involvement of the Astrocyte-Derived Synaptogenic Factor, Thrombospondin-1-

Mami Okada-Tsuchioka, Chiyo Shibasaki and Minoru Takebayashi

Abstract

Antidepressants and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are major therapeutic strategies for mood disorders. ECT is the most potent treatment for antidepressantresistant mood disorders; however, the underlying mechanisms of action remain largely unclear. Therefore, the identification of the molecular and cellular mechanisms affected by ECT may provide further insight into the pathophysiology of depression and the development of more effective therapeutic strategies.

Herein, a variety of hypotheses on the pathophysiology of mood disorders and the mechanism of antidepressive treatments are reviewed, with an emphasis on synaptogenesis. Our findings suggest that synaptogenesis is involved in the mechanism of action of ECT, possibly via thrombospondin (TSP)-1, a member of TSP family that was reported to be secreted by astrocytes to regulate synaptogenesis in the brain.

Total Pages: 242-250 (9)

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