Barbara Di Benedetto
Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol
Functional alterations in synaptic contacts in specific brain areas are a hallmark of major depressive disorder (MDD). Antidepressant (AD) treatments may have the capacity to reshape neuronal circuits by affecting synaptogenesis and synaptic stabilization in specific regions of the brain. Nevertheless, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Glial cells are actively orchestrating molecular signals that regulate the arrangement of neuronal circuits both in the developing and adult brain. We present evidences indicating that glial cells might be substrates of ADs for restructuring neuronal networks that has become miswired after the onset or progression of MDD. In particular astrocytes are targeted from ADs to induce a reversal of brain cells to an immature state. This effect produces a synaptic turnover that is dependent on ERK1/2 and might underline AD efficacy. Because the late-onset clinical AD effects on behavioural parameters and poor rate of responders are still essential problems in the field of MDD, we aim to offer a different approach (a ?gliocentric? view) to study this complex neuropsychiatric disorder to possibly identify alternative targets that help to improve efficacy of AD therapies.
Barbara Di Benedetto has completed her studies in Biology at the University of Milan (Italy). She then performed her Ph.D. at the Technical University of Munich and postdoctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich (Germany). Since 2013, she is Group Leader at the University of Regensburg. She has published several papers in the field of glia cells in reputed journals and has been serving as peer-reviewers for dif ferent renowned journals.