1. Cell Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Neuropharmacology: How ketamine helps to overcome depression

  1. Thu N Huynh
  2. Eric Klann  Is a corresponding author
  1. New York University, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2014;3:e05418 doi: 10.7554/eLife.05418
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Ketamine increases protein synthesis in neurons and decreases depressive-like behaviors.

(A) In the neurons of wild-type mice, low levels of glutamate (green circles) activate NMDAR proteins that contain GluN2B subunits, leading to a decrease in protein synthesis and an increase in depressive-like behaviors. (B) If ketamine (purple triangle) is administered to these mice it blocks the NMDAR proteins, leading to an increase in protein synthesis and a decrease in depressive-like behaviors. (C) The NMDAR proteins in 2BΔCtx mice—which lack the GluN2B subunit in cortical neurons—cannot be activated by glutamate, so there is an increase in protein synthesis and a decrease in depressive-like behaviors, even in the absence of ketamine. This image was generated using ChemDraw.

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