VEGF as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in depression

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Feb;8(1):14-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2007.10.013. Epub 2007 Dec 3.


Antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed drugs, however the mechanism underlying their therapeutic efficacy is not known. Neurotrophic factors represent a promising class of targets for antidepressant treatments. We recently characterized a role for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cellular and behavioral antidepressant responses. VEGF is a potent mitogen and survival factor for endothelial cells (ECs) and neurons, and modulator of synaptic transmission. Because VEGF has been implicated in a variety of diseases, understanding the molecular and cellular specificity of antidepressant-induced VEGF will be crucial to determine its potential as a therapeutic target in depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A