Researchers have developed a transgenic mouse model for postpartum depression which hints at medical interventions for the mood disorder, according to a study published this week in linkurl:__Neuron.__; "For the first time we have a linkurl:useful model; to look at therapeutic interventions," said first author Jamie Maguire from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Postpartum depression is thought to be caused when the high levels of reproductive hormones plummet just after birth. Researchers have shown that hormone levels and the expression of receptors that respond to these hormones fluctuate throughout the ovarian cycle. These receptors, called GABA-A receptors, are comprised of five interchangeable subunits, which have different effects depending on their combination. The GABAnergic system has long been associated with a number of psychiatric disorders such as panic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. When Maguire and coauthor Istvan Mody, also from UCLA, tracked the receptors' expression in pregnant...

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