Neurons from a region of the brain called the lateral habenula (LHb) are hyperactive in depressed individuals for reasons that are unclear. Now, using a technique called quantitative proteomic screening, investigators from China and the United States revealed that the βCaMKII protein is nearly twice as abundant in the LHb of rats that have been depressed since birth compared with regular rats (Li K et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1240729 [published online August 30, 2013]). Expression of this protein dropped significantly when depressed rats were given antidepressants.
Hampton T. Brain Protein May Play a Role in Depression-Related Behaviors. JAMA. 2013;310(13):1331. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278394