Accumulating evidence suggests that the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in mechanisms of reward and addiction, plays a role in the pathogenesis of depression and in the action of antidepressants.
Dandan Liu and her team, Bio-X Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China for the first time using electrophysiological method studied the signaling transduction pathway mediated by dopamine D2-like receptor in the medium spiny neurons in the core of the nucleus accumbens in the juvenile Wistar Kyoto rat model of depression.
They concluded that impaired inhibition of medium spiny neurons, mediated by dopamine D2-like receptors, may be involved in the formation of depression-like behavior in juvenile WKY rats, and that nomifensine can alleviate depressive behaviors by reducing medium spiny neuron membrane excitability.
Related results were published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 10, 2014).
Article: " Attenuated inhibition of medium spiny neurons participates in the pathogenesis of childhood depression," by Dandan Liu, Linghan Hu, Junqi Zhang, Ping Zhang, Shengtian Li (Bio-X Institutes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Liu DD, Hu LH, Zhang JQ, Zhang P, Li ST. Attenuated inhibition of medium spiny neurons participates in the pathogenesis of childhood depression. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(10):1079-1088.