Since 2004, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been used in treatment-resistant or treatment-intolerant depressive episodes. Today, VNS is suggested as possible therapy for a larger spectrum of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorders, and panic disorders. Despite a large body of literature supports the application of VNS in patients’ treatment, the exact mechanism of action of VNS remains not fully understood. In the present study, the major knowledges on the brain areas and neuronal pathways regulating neuroimmune and autonomic response subserving VNS effects are reviewed. Furthermore, the involvement of the neurotrophins (NTs) Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in vagus nerve (VN) physiology and stimulation is revised. The data on brain NGF/BDNF synthesis and in turn on the activity-dependent plasticity, connectivity rearrangement and neurogenesis, are presented and discussed as potential biomarkers for optimizing stimulatory parameters for VNS. A vagus nerve-neurotrophin interaction model in the brain is finally proposed as a working hypothesis for future studies addressed to understand pathophysiology of psychiatric disturbance.

Vagus nerve stimulation and Neurotrophins: a biological psychiatric perspective

Iannitelli, Angela;Pacitti, Francesca;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Since 2004, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been used in treatment-resistant or treatment-intolerant depressive episodes. Today, VNS is suggested as possible therapy for a larger spectrum of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorders, and panic disorders. Despite a large body of literature supports the application of VNS in patients’ treatment, the exact mechanism of action of VNS remains not fully understood. In the present study, the major knowledges on the brain areas and neuronal pathways regulating neuroimmune and autonomic response subserving VNS effects are reviewed. Furthermore, the involvement of the neurotrophins (NTs) Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in vagus nerve (VN) physiology and stimulation is revised. The data on brain NGF/BDNF synthesis and in turn on the activity-dependent plasticity, connectivity rearrangement and neurogenesis, are presented and discussed as potential biomarkers for optimizing stimulatory parameters for VNS. A vagus nerve-neurotrophin interaction model in the brain is finally proposed as a working hypothesis for future studies addressed to understand pathophysiology of psychiatric disturbance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/145589
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