Over the last decade, major depressive disorder (MDD) has attracted great attention in the Western societies for
mainly two reasons. First, epidemiological studies demonstrate a steady increase in the number of affected patients so that
MDD will be one of the most disabling conditions worldwide in the near future. Second, preclinical and clinical science
has early recognized the need for elaborating the cause and progression of MDD in order to improve treatment strategies.
Progress in developing advanced technologies such as DNA microarrays and next-generation sequencing has allowed for
rapidly acquiring detailed biochemical information about DNA polymorphisms and transcriptome profiles. These studies
collectively show profound biochemical changes in affected individuals, and animal studies partly corroborate or
complement the alterations identified in patients. In this review, we survey transcriptional changes in the course of MDD
and the effects of antidepressant drugs on multiple disease-related transcriptional pathways. The combination of both
potentially unravels additional mechanisms of disease aetiology which eventually represents a bottom-up approach for the
discovery of newly-acting antidepressant drugs.
Keywords: Major depression, serotonin/norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor, neuroplasticity, gene arrays, Depression, Antidepressant Transcriptomics, major depressive disorder, MDD, bipolar disorder, Glutamate Transporter , neurotoxicity, neurotrophin-3, CREB-associated CBP, hormone receptors, Neuropsychopharmacology
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