Resting-state studies in depressed patients have revealed increased connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) and task-positive network (TPN). This has been associated with heightened rumination, which is the tendency to repetitively think about symptoms of distress. Here, we performed a pharmacological neuroimaging study in healthy volunteers to investigate whether short-term antidepressant administration could reduce DMN connectivity. We recorded resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans in twenty-three healthy volunteers after two week intake of the combined serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Duloxetine improved mood in part as a result of increased resilience to the mood-worsening effects of scanning and reduced DMN and TPN connectivity. Within the DMN, duloxetine reduced connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the lateral parietal cortex (LPC) and uncoupled the MPFC from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Within the TPN, duloxetine uncoupled the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) from the inferior occipital gyrus. These results show that two-week antidepressant administration reduces DMN and TPN connectivity in healthy volunteers, which may contribute to their antidepressant effects in depression.
Keywords: Antidepressant; Default mode; Resting-state; Rumination; Task-positive; fMRI.
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