Searching for ketamine´s antidepressant mechanisms: from synaptic plasticity to dentate gyrus cell proliferation
A study led by Dr. Henrik Seth provides further evidence linking rapid antidepressant effects with dentate gyrus cell proliferation while hippocampal synaptic plasticity and glutamatergic neurotransmission remain essentially unaltered shortly following an acute low (subanesthetic) dose of ketamine.
NMDAR (N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate receptor) antagonist ketamine, an arylcyclohexamine that is closely related to phencyclidine (PCP), was discovered in 1962 by Dr. Calvin Stevens and was some years later brought into clinical practice as an anesthetic agent (Figure 1). Due to its dissociative and hallucinogenic properties ketamine was rapidly adopted also for recreational use. Serendipitous clinical findings decades later sparked interest to this fascinating compound in psychiatry.