Prozac leads to neurogenesis of neural progenitors

Fluoxetine targets early progenitor cells in the adult brain — Encinas et al. 103 (21): 8233 — Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

One of the first mechanistic attempt at explaining the effects of SSRIs. But how do new progenitors affect depression? Maybe this is an epiphenomenon. Maybe not.

2 thoughts on “Prozac leads to neurogenesis of neural progenitors

  1. Actually, this explanation has been around for at least 3 years. In the following paper, they showed that irradiation (which blocks neurogenesis) also cancels out the antidepressant effect – showing that it is likely to be more than an epiphenomenon:

    Santarelli L, Saxe M, Gross C, Surget A, Battaglia F, Dulawa S, Weisstaub N, Lee J, Duman R, Arancio O, Belzung C, Hen R.
    Requirement of hippocampal neurogenesis for the behavioral effects of antidepressants.
    Science. 2003 Aug 8;301(5634):805-9.


  2. Yeah that science paper is fun allright, however, it has several problems, mainly that the test they used is a test of anxiety, not depression (it responds to benzo treatment) (and yes I know that studies have come out with learned helplessness and the same result).

    Also, BrdU is not neuron specific.

    And transcranial magnetic stimulation is generally antidepressant, but not proneurogenic. Just saying, that Science paper isn’t the best science I’ve ever seen.


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