Dehydroepiandrosterone and monoamines in the limbic system of a genetic animal model of childhood depression

O. Malkesman, Y. Braw, E. Ram, R. Maayan, A. Weizman, N. Kinor, G. Yadid, A. Weller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Monoamines and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels were measured in a genetic animal model for childhood depression in four subcortical structures: nucleus accumbens (Nac), ventral tegmental area (VTA), amygdala and hypothalamus. The "depressive-like" strain was the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), compared to their controls, Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Prepubertal FSL rats showed abnormal levels of only a few monoamines and their metabolites in these brain regions. This is in contrast to former studies, in which adult FSL rats exhibited significantly higher levels of all the monoamines and their metabolites measured. These different abnormal monoamine patterns between the "depressed" prepubertal rats and their adults, may help to explain why depressed children and adolescents fail to respond to antidepressant treatment as well as adults do. On the other hand, FSL prepubertal rats exhibited the same pattern of abnormal DHEA basal levels as was found in adults in previous experiments. The results from the current study may imply that treatment with DHEA could be a promising novel therapeutic option for depressed children and adolescents that fail to respond to common (monoaminergic) antidepressant treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Childhood depression
  • DHEA
  • FSL
  • Limbic system
  • Monoamines


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