Decoding of dopaminergic mesolimbic activity and depressive behavior

Alexander Friedman, Ilana Deri, Yaakov Friedman, Eliyahu Dremencov, Sophia Goutkin, Elizabeth Kravchinsky, Matti Mintz, Dino Levi, David H. Overstreet, Gal Yadid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesocortical systems are involved in hedonia and motivation, two core symptoms of depression. However, their role in the pathophysiology of depression and their manipulation to treat depression has received little attention. Previously, we showed decreased limbic dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in an animal model of depression, Flinder sensitive line (FSL) rats. Here we describe a high correlation between phase-space algorithm of bursting-like activity of DA cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and efficiency of DA release in the accumbens. This bursting-like activity of VTA DA cells of FSL rats is characterized by a low dimension complexity. Treatment with the antidepressant desipramine affected both the dimension complexity of cell firing in the VTA and rate of DA release in the accumbens, as well as alleviating depressive-like behavior. Our findings indicate the potential usefulness of monitoring limbic dopaminergic dynamics in combination with non-linear analysis. Decoding the functionality of the dopaminergic system may help in development of future antidepressant drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2007


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • Dimension analysis
    • Dopamine
    • Electrophysiology
    • Flinders Sensitive Line of rats
    • Motivation
    • Nonlinear analysis
    • Swim test
    • Ventral tegmental area


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