New drug target for Depression

Posted on June 20, 2018

Different treatments for depression exists, but most scientists believe in the same chemicals, Serotonin and Norepinephrine, are the key drug targets in depression. Most drugs such as mono amine drugs and SSRIs target these 2 hormones in the treatment of depression.

However, one third of the people who use these drugs do not experience any effects. Thus, researchers from Hiroshima University conducted various studies and discovered a protein, RGS8, which was found to play a role in depression.

RGS8 inactivates a hormone receptor named MCHR1, and MCHR1 regulates sleep, mood, and feeding responses. Thus, a lesser amount of RGS8 leads to increased depressive behaviour and moods.

To analyse depressive behaviour in rats, they were put through a swimming test in which the researchers recorded the time they were active. Rats that had a larger amount of RGS8 showed shorter immobility times than rats who had a normal amount of RGS8. When the rats with a larger amount of RGS8 were given MCHR1inhibitor drugs, the immobility times remain unchanged across both rats. Mono amine drugs did not appear to have reverse the effects of RGS8. Thus, mono amine was not involved in this depressive behaviour, but MCHR1 was, indicating a new type of depression.


Category(s):Depression, Health / Illness / Medical Issues

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