Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Increased anxiety in mice with human enzyme

Share this article

Increased anxiety in mice with human enzyme
15:06 CEST+02:00
A Swedish study has revealed that mice with high levels of a particular human enzyme demonstrate anxiety-like behaviour, a finding which could lead to new drugs against anxiety and depression.

"This research will form the basis to understand why some people suffer more with depressive moods," Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg, head of research at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Stockholm's Karolinska, told The Local.

"The next step would be to find out if there is a similar change in humans."

The team at Karolinska Institutet investigated the effects of the CYP2C19 enzyme on mice by implanting it in the developing foetus. An absence of the enzyme has previously been shown to be associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms in humans.

Once they reached adulthodd, the mice had a severely underdeveloped, hypersensitive hippocampus, an area of the brain that is involved in learning and memory forming. A dysfunctional hippocampus in humans has previously shown to be highly sensitive to stress-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorders.

It is hoped this new research will lead to developing new anti-anxiety drugs.

"It would improve our understanding of how changes in the developing fetal brain can increase the risk of depression and anxiety disorders later in life," Anna Persson, one of the study's key researchers, told online healthcare website Health Canal.

Victoria Hussey

Follow Victoria on Twitter here

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Why Europe's top talent still flocks to London

London has always had a certain allure that pulls in entrepreneurs from near and far. As one of the world's most connected cities, a top financial centre and a multicultural melting pot, countless professionals from Europe and beyond are drawn to London like moths to a flame.