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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Oct 2023 - 20 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 17

Mol Psychiatry


Myelin-associated oligodendrocytic basic protein-dependent myelin repair confers the long-lasting antidepressant effect of ketamine.


Huang C, Wu Z, Wang D, Qu Y, Zhang J, Jiang R, Xu X, Xu X, Wang Y, Liu H, He T, Liu C, Chen G, Yang JJ, Hashimoto K, Yang C


Ketamine exhibits rapid and sustained antidepressant effects. As decreased myelination has been linked to depression pathology, changes in myelination may be a pivotal mechanism underlying ketamine’s long-lasting antidepressant effects. Although ketamine has a long-lasting facilitating effect on myelination, the precise roles of myelination in ketamine’s sustained antidepressant effects remain unknown. In this study, we employed spatial transcriptomics (ST) to examine ketamine’s lasting effects in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus of mice subjected to chronic social defeat stress and identified several differentially expressed myelin-related genes. Ketamine’s ability to restore impaired myelination in the brain by promoting the differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) into mature oligodendrocytes was demonstrated. Moreover, we showed that inhibiting the expression of myelin-associated oligodendrocytic basic protein (Mobp) blocked ketamine’s long-lasting antidepressant effects. We also illustrated that α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) signaling mediated ketamine’s facilitation on myelination. In addition, we found that the (R)-stereoisomer of ketamine showed stronger effects on myelination than (S)-ketamine, which may explain its longer-lasting antidepressant effects. These findings reveal novel mechanisms underlying the sustained antidepressant effects of ketamine and the differences in antidepressant effects between (R)-ketamine and (S)-ketamine, providing new insights into the role of myelination in antidepressant mechanisms.