Why Women May Not Respond to Depression Treatments the Same as Men

Why Women May Not Respond to Depression Treatments the Same as Men

Summary: Research reveals how lowered operate of the rgs2 protein in the nucleus accumbens contributes to signs or symptoms related with melancholy. The conclusions may well assist with the advancement of new therapeutics to support address depression in people.

Source: UC Davis

Though treatment options for melancholy exist, sometimes these solutions don’t get the job done for a lot of who use them. Also, ladies knowledge bigger prices of despair than gentlemen, however the lead to for this distinction is unknown, producing their health problems, at occasions, much more complicated to deal with.

University of California, Davis, researchers teamed up with researchers from Mt. Sinai Clinic, Princeton University, and Laval College, Quebec, to try out to recognize how a precise aspect of the mind, the nucleus accumbens, is affected throughout depression.

The nucleus accumbens is vital for motivation, reaction to worthwhile encounters and social interactions — all of which are influenced by depression.

Former analyses inside the nucleus accumbens showed that different genes ended up turned on or off in girls, but not in guys identified with depression. These variations could have brought about signs or symptoms of despair, or alternatively, the experience of staying depressed could have transformed the mind.

To differentiate among these options, the researchers researched mice that had skilled unfavorable social interactions, which induce stronger despair-connected habits in females than males.

“These substantial-throughput analyses are really useful for comprehension extensive-lasting consequences of strain on the mind. In our rodent model, damaging social interactions changed gene expression styles in woman mice that mirrored patterns observed in females with despair,” said Alexia Williams, a doctoral researcher and  recent UC Davis graduate who built and led these experiments.

“This is remarkable since women of all ages are understudied in this discipline, and this locating allowed me to emphasis my interest on the relevance of these details for women’s health.”

The research “Comparative transcriptional analyses in the nucleus accumbens identifies RGS2 as a essential mediator of despair-connected habits,” was released this month in the journal Organic Psychiatry.

After determining comparable molecular changes in the brains of mice and people, researchers selected one gene, regulator of g protein signaling-2, or Rgs2, to manipulate. This gene controls the expression of a protein that regulates neurotransmitter receptors that are qualified by antidepressant remedies this kind of as Prozac and Zoloft.

“In individuals, significantly less steady versions of the Rgs2 protein are involved with improved possibility of depression, so we have been curious to see no matter if increasing Rgs2 in the nucleus accumbens could cut down melancholy-relevant behaviors,” reported Brian Trainor, UC Davis professor of psychology and senior author on the analyze.

This shows the nucleus accumbense in the brain
The nucleus accumbens (represented in blue) is a aspect of the brain that controls commitment. Scientists from UC Davis when compared samples of the nucleus accumbens in mice and humans to uncover clues to how this portion of the mind is influenced by stress and melancholy in males and women. Credit: UC Davis

He is also an affiliated college member with the Centre for Neuroscience and directs the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab at UC Davis.

When the researchers experimentally improved Rgs2 protein in the nucleus accumbens of the mice, they efficiently reversed the outcomes of worry on these female mice, noting that social method and choices for most popular food items elevated to levels observed in ladies that did not practical experience any stress.

“These outcomes spotlight a molecular mechanism contributing to the absence of drive normally noticed in frustrated clients. Lessened purpose of proteins like Rgs2 might contribute to signs that are challenging to handle in individuals battling with mental health problems,” Williams reported.

Findings from standard science scientific tests these kinds of as this one could manual the development of pharmacotherapies to correctly treat individuals struggling from depression, the scientists said.

“Our hope is that by executing scientific studies such as these, which concentration on elucidating mechanisms of distinct signs or symptoms of intricate psychological ailments, we will carry science one particular step closer to producing new therapies for individuals in have to have,” stated Williams.

In addition to Trainor and Williams, co-authors include things like, from Princeton College, Catherine Peña from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Randal Serafini, Anne Ruiz, Venetia Zachariou and Eric Nestler from Laval College, Benoit Labonte from Massachusetts Typical Medical center, Rachel Neve and Stephanie Ramos-Maciel, Abigail Laman-Maharg, Evelyn Ordoñez-Sanchez, Monica Britton, Blyther Durbin-Johnson, Matt Settles, Rebecca Hao, Sae Yokoyama, Christine Xu, Pei Luo, Tjien Dwyer, Shanu Bhela and Alexis Black, all UC Davis researchers.  

See also

This shows DNA

About this melancholy study news

Writer: Karen Nikos
Resource: UC Davis
Get hold of: Karen Nikos – UC Davis
Impression: The impression is credited to UC Davis

Unique Research: Open accessibility.
Comparative transcriptional analyses in the nucleus accumbens identifies RGS2 as a crucial mediator of melancholy-associated conduct” by Alexia Williams et al. Biological Psychiatry


Comparative transcriptional analyses in the nucleus accumbens identifies RGS2 as a key mediator of despair-similar actions

Track record

Major depressive condition (MDD) is 1 of the most typically diagnosed psychological health problems globally, with a better prevalence in females than guys. Though at this time available pharmacological therapeutics aid quite a few people, they are not successful for most. Animal versions have been important for the discovery of molecular alterations in worry and despair, but challenges in adapting animal versions of despair for females has impeded development into developing novel therapeutic solutions that could be extra efficacious for ladies.


Using the California mouse social defeat design, we took a multidisciplinary tactic to recognize stress-delicate molecular targets that have translational relevance for girls. We determined the impact of strain on transcriptional profiles in male and woman California mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc) and compared these benefits with info from submit-mortem samples of the NAc from adult males and females diagnosed with MDD.


Our cross-species computational analyses discovered regulator of G-protein signaling 2 (Rgs2) as a transcript downregulated by defeat strain in feminine California mice and in ladies with MDD. RGS2 performs a important position in sign regulation of neuropeptide and neurotransmitter receptors. Viral vector mediated overexpression of Rgs2 in the NAc restored social technique and sucrose choice in pressured feminine California mice.


These reports show that Rgs2 acting in the NAc has useful properties that translate to improvements in anxiousness- and despair-similar behavior. Foreseeable future experiments really should look into whether or not targeting Rgs2 represents a novel focus on for treatment method-resistant depression in girls.