Brain Networks, Hormones and Genes Implicated in Depression

The Pre-frontal Limbic Network: Modulation of Synapses by Hormones and Epigenetic Mechanisms
  • Maxwell Bennett
Chapter

Abstract

The anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala and hippocampus form part of an interconnected prefrontal neocortical and limbic archicortical network, as shown in Fig. 5.1, which is dysregulated in major depressive disorders (MDD; for a review see Bennett 2010b). This dysregulation is manifest in decreased activity, according to functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) studies, in dorsal prefrontal areas such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) and both dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortices (dACC and rACC) (Fig. 1; summarized in Table 1 of Taylor and Liberzon 2007). Such dysregulation is accompanied by increased activity in ventral prefrontal areas, namely in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), in subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) and in the amygdala (Fig. 1; Taylor and Liberzon 2007). These differences in activity during MDD have led to the concept that dorsal areas, associated with cognitive capacities, normally exert an inhibitory influence over more ventral areas, associated with affective capacities, but that this influence fails in those suffering from MDD (see Taylor and Liberzon 2007 for a critical review of this idea). Special emphasis is placed on the increased activity in the amygdala, as this has been correlated with a range of mood disorders (Bennett 2010b, 2011). This review canvases the mechanisms of interaction, relevant to MDD, between the PLN and three systems, namely those provided by the hypothalamic pituitary– adrenal axis, the basal ganglia and the midbrain.

Keywords

Prefrontal Cortex Anterior Cingulate Cortex Ventral Tegmental Area Corticotropin Release Factor Suicide Victim 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxwell Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Brain and Mind Research InstituteCamperdownAustralia

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