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Circadian desynchonization as a cause of depression, The involvement and mechanisms of melatonin

Renate, Kat (2015) Circadian desynchonization as a cause of depression, The involvement and mechanisms of melatonin. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Depression is a big problem worldwide and the pathophysiology and causes of the disease are not understood yet. It has been proposed that desynchornization of the circadian clock might lead to depression. This is supported by the existing circadian related symptoms and the effectiveness of light therapy and sleep deprivation. As an possible internal synchronizer, melatonin’s actions in depression have been widely studied. It was found that melatonin rhythms, both phase and amplitude, are altered in depressed patients. However, found results are very contradicting and it still remains unclear how the rhythm is exactly affected in depression. Exogenous melatonin has an antidepressant-like effect in different animal models of depression. Antidepressant-like effects are probably evoked by direct inhibition or long term desensitization of the melatonin receptors. Hardly any human studies on the antidepressant effects of melatonin have been done, but agomelatine (MT1/MT2 agonist, 5-HT2c antagonist) was proven to be an effective antidepressant. The mechanisms by which melatonin mediates its effects are unclear. Its actions seem to be partly mediated via its own receptors, where MT1 is implicated to mediate antidepressant effects, while MT2 mediates depressant effects. But also involvement of the serotonergic, dopaminergic, GABAergic and glutamatergic systems and their receptors are found. Besides, melatonin can enhance BDNF levels and have suppressive effects on the HPA-axis. To gain better understanding, further research should be done on the effects of desynchornization in depression and the interactions between the different systems involved in melatonin’s mechanisms. This could lead to new and more effective therapies for depression.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:03

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