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Synaptic Microenvironment in Depressive Disorder: Insights from Synaptic Plasticity

Authors Ren F, Guo R

Received 24 June 2020

Accepted for publication 14 December 2020

Published 22 January 2021 Volume 2021:17 Pages 157—165


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning

Feifei Ren,1 Rongjuan Guo2

1Second Clinical Medical College, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Neurology, Dongfang Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100078, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Rongjuan Guo
Department of Neurology, Dongfang Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, No. 6, 1st Section, Fangxingyuan, Fangzhuang, Fengtai District, Beijing City, People’s Republic of China
Tel/Fax +86 10-6768-9655

Abstract: Depression is a major disease that can affect both mental and physical health, limits psychosocial functioning and diminishes the quality of life. But its complex pathogenesis remains poorly understood. The dynamic changes of synaptic structure and function, known as synaptic plasticity, occur with the changes of different cellular microenvironment and are closely related to learning and memory function. Accumulating evidence implies that synaptic plasticity is integrally involved in the pathological changes of mood disorders, especially in depressive disorder. However, the complex dynamic process of synaptic plasticity is influenced by many factors. Here, we reviewed and discussed various factors affecting synaptic plasticity in depression, and proposed a specific framework named synaptic microenvironment, which may be critical for synaptic plasticity under pathological conditions. Based on this concept, we will show how we understand the balance between the synaptic microenvironment and the synaptic plasticity network in depression. Finally, we point out the clinical significance of the synaptic microenvironment in depression.

Keywords: depression, synaptic plasticity, synaptic microenvironment, glia, influence factors

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