Project: Research council

Project Details


Vitamin A is one of a family of compounds called retinoids. Retinoids are derived from the diet and synthetic sources. During development of the nervous system, retinoids act to regulate nerve cell growth by turning on a subset of neuronal genes. Retinoids are also thought to play an important role in the adult brain but little is known about the behaviours that are influenced by, or what mechanisms might be involved in, retinoid actions. In humans, both excess vitamin A (for example from supplements) and oral retinoid treatments for acne (Roaccutane) have been linked with an increased risk of depression and suicidal behaviour. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the control of mood and emotional behaviour. Based on our preliminary data, we predict that retinoids alter the expression of proteins involved in serotonin neurotransmission which causes a reduction in the amount of serotonin available. In humans, impaired serotonin neurotransmission has been suggested to be a cause of depression and many antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Here we will use a novel mouse model to try to identify whether retinoids can alter serotoninergic neurotransmission in the adolescent brain. These studies will reveal novel mechanisms contributing to depression as well as providing insight into the physiological role for retinoids in the adult brain.
Effective start/end date17/09/0716/09/10


  • Medical Research Council

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  • Research Output

    Chronic administration of 13-cis-retinoic acid does not alter the number of serotoninergic neurons in the mouse raphe nuclei

    Drew, C. J. G., O'Reilly, K. C., Lane, M. A. & Bailey, S. J., 13 Jan 2011, In : Neuroscience. 172, p. 66-73 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    115 Downloads (Pure)

    Chronic 13-cis-retinoic acid administration disrupts network interactions between the raphe nuclei and the hippocampal system in young adult mice

    O'Reilly, K. C., Shumake, J., Bailey, S. J., Gonzalez-Lima, F. & Lane, M. A., 2009, In : European Journal of Pharmacology. 605, 1-3, p. 68-77 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 19 Citations (Scopus)

    Chronic treatment with 13-cis-retinoic acid changes aggressive behaviours in the resident-intruder paradigm in rats

    Trent, S., Drew, C. J. G., Mitchell, P. J. & Bailey, S. J., Dec 2009, In : European Neuropsychopharmacology. 19, 12, p. 876-886 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 18 Citations (Scopus)
    136 Downloads (Pure)