Mice Without Serotonin Do Not Display Depression


Mice genetically developed to lack the ability to produce serotonin in their brains did not display any depression-like symptoms or behaviors, according to a study in ACS Chemical Neuroscience. The finding “puts into doubt the long-standing belief that a deficiency in serotonin — a chemical messenger in the brain — plays a central role in depression,” stated a press release from the journal.

The researchers from John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine found that serotonin-depleted mice “were compulsive and extremely aggressive, but didn’t show signs of depression-like symptoms.” They also found that, when put under stress, the serotonin-depleted mice “behaved in the same way most of the normal mice did.”

Though overall treatment with antidepressants did not seem to alter or help the serotonin-depleted mice in any way, the researchers found that a small subset of the mice “responded to treatment with SSRIs in the same manner as wild-type controls with significant reductions in immobility time on the tail suspension test, indicative of antidepressant drug effects.”

According to the press release, the findings “suggest that serotonin is not a major player in depression.”

New study throws into question long-held belief about depression (ACS Chemical Neuroscience Press Release, August 27, 2014)

Mice Genetically Depleted of Brain Serotonin Do Not Display a Depression-like Behavioral Phenotype (Angoa-PĂ©rez, Mariana et al. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. Published online August 4, 2014. DOI: 10.1021/cn500096g)


  1. It is awesome that this study shows depression isn’t linked to a neuro transmitter. I think we knew this tho, and its evidence of psychiatry and pharma companies lying about the action of the drug. We also knew all along depression did not actually cure itself from taking drugs that tampered with serotonin or other neuro chemicals. A better explanation is that chemicals lobotomize people and can knock out emotions and sensations, we know that serotonin pathway and norepinephrine and dopamine pathways can be made ineffective by using reuptake inhibitors which cause loss of emotions, sensations, hallucinations, movement disorders and brain damage. For whatever reason this is seen as a treatment for people experiencing normal emotions and normal reactions in life, its truly done just to sell something with no real interest in peoples health or well being. The fact that people cannot even understand that this is what doctors do is what makes it hard to ban and stop the practice. People need to realize that to get a chance in anything inside your brain you have to damage and dysrupt normal processes and that this is the sole reason anything can actually be observed happening when on these drugs. You receive a damaged brain, parts of your personality and mood, and all that will in fact be different. All psychiatric treatments are based on this principle. http://www.obamasweapon.com

    Report comment

  2. I think when pressed, Harvard psychiatrist’s confessed that the chemical imbalance theory for depression was known to be untrue, as far back as the 1970’s? And, if I recall, it was pointed out that this reality had not been communicated to the public yet, implying such was quite disingenuous (especially given the billions made off the societal misinformation).

    I guess it’s progress the scientific community is now starting to tell the public of the scientific fraud, albeit not honestly (they’re implying this is new scientific knowledge, rather than confessing that the chemical imbalance theory was known to be a hoax for decades).

    Report comment

  3. I just can’t get past the image of a mouse on a tiny couch discussing its daily routine and state of mind with a psychiatrist.

    “The economic downturn has hit us hard Doc, scraps of food have become rarer, and my 300 children are driving me insane. I’ve tried Ritalin but they are just Go, Go, Go”

    Report comment

    • LOL! of course the mouse is just trying to be nice to the psychiatrist, giving him the input to see how ridiculous it is to earn your living genetically “developing” mice to not be able to produce serotonin, and do this in order to therapeutize humans (whose whole social hierarchy already depends on the control of psychopaths, with no empathy for how they treat others, mammalian life; so it’s really not necessary to show them that this is a means to an end).

      One can only wonder what the mice think of the conclusions drawn here, as well as how much they would do ANYTHING to be left alone.

      It seems that they’re ACTUALLY not even dealing with a correct conclusion of what anti-depressants do. It’s just what they “think” they do.

      None of this makes sense anyhow, because I thought SSRI’s when they’ve been “stabilized” actually cause LESS seratonin (in contrast to dopamin drugs cause more rather than less). Because the brain compensates.

      But heh with a tail suspension test, you gotta go for it.

      Does this means that if the rats/mice did what the psychiatrists/drugcartels “think” is supposed to be the result that they would be left alone?

      Sort of like how you get out of an asylum?

      Report comment

  4. I think one can decidedly conclude that the lack of signs of depression amongst the mice developed to lack serotonin comes from there being clear evidence that they show definite signs of intelligence, otherwise direly lacking in the scientific community “experimenting” to find ways to “cure” mental health. This is something that would make one happy, to find they have clear signs of intelligence. I think this definitely goes beyond compelling evidence or the idea that they’re only making headway here. This is conclusive enough to show that the mice can be left alone now, and that liberating the mice to be pets would greatly contribute to mental health, or just liberating them in general from being used in labs.

    However… unfortunately, would one go to “most” psychiatrists dressed in a mice costume with a tail that elevates in a quick response to show how happy they are, it’s questionable whether this would be understood, or even be interpreted as a sign of emotional and/or mental health.

    Report comment

  5. Let’s see if I got this all right:

    The presumption is that “depression” comes from lack or seratonin, thus the inhibiting of re-uptake, of recycling of re-metabolizing, what anti-depressant do.

    That’s wrong to begin with, because anti-depressants in the end actually cause lack of seratonin, because the brain re-compensates when there’s seratonin around because of the inhibiting of the re-uptake, and it makes less seratonin.

    That’s then if you believe at all that anti-depressants correlate with alleviating depression, because of the corrupt clinical trials. To believe that you have to believe that it’s kosher to dismiss everyone who gets sick from the anti-depressants and has to leave the clinical trials as not being part of it, not counted, and then taking anyone who gets better in the placebo group the first couple of weeks out, again rigging the odds; and then still not having the “results” needed taking people who are already on a psychiatric drug (and used to it) in the trial (sort of like offering addicts a new street drug, or jet setters a new restaurant and/or resort to prove its wonders); and at first not reporting the last 7 weeks of the trial because so many people had serious withdrawal symptoms; and then not telling anyone about all the violence the drug creates once it’s approved, although this is known, as well as that people committed suicide in the trials because of the effects of the anti-depressants.

    ALL OF THAT in order to believe that whether there’s less seratonin (although it’s believe there’s more) this correlates with helping depression, although we’re told it’s the other way around that more seratonin helps.

    So fine, the mice have LESS seratonin

    So, the aggressive behavior of the mice that’s associated with their lack of seratonin IS also found in humans, it’s called Akithesia, it’s the black warning label on anti-depressants. This of course isn’t considered to point out again the dangers of anti-depressants, and not even mentioned, along with that their theory of what seratonin has to do with it is the opposite of how it turns out, that there’s no real correlation with this seratonin debacle having anything to do with helping depression (more or less of it), although it’s again shown that less of it can make you aggressive.

    And what the experiment points out (that it makes you aggressive) is ignored as something to be considered, it seems; and it (the experiment) also points out that less seratonin doesn’t make a person more resistant to depression, although we’re told the drugs do the opposite and correlate with more seratonin, which they don’t they correlate with less.

    At WHAT LEVEL is this science!?

    It’s more like a test to see whether you’re fooled or not. The students could correct the teacher’s work but aren’t allowed to.

    Report comment

    • Me! Me! I agree with oldhead and anothervoice. If there is any real mechanism of karma or justice in the world, human beings are setting ourselves up for an incredible fall, all deserved, for thinking we have the right to do the things we do to other feeling species. C.f. http://investigations.peta.org/nih-baby-monkey-experiments/?utm_campaign=NIH+Investigation&utm_source=PETA+E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

      Let’s take care of our own da*n problems, especially the problems we should totally understand by now, like human psychology, and leave these creatures to their own lives, they have nothing to do with it. The arrogance, blindness, hypocrisy, and brutality of our species at times are shocking.

      Report comment

      • Thanks for sharing that ssenerch. If other’s haven’t clicked on the link, it’s part of a petition to protest the abuse of baby monkeys and their mother’s in unthinkable experiments, where the baby’s are taken away from their mothers, and then maliciously tortured to see how they will act. Experiments that even the experimenters themselves say do no good in an understanding of humans. EVERY ONE SIGN IT!

        “Suomi has long acknowledged the irrelevance of his torturous experiments. In 1977, he wrote the following:

        [W]hether actual data obtained from nonhuman primates have added measurably to our understanding of human development is another matter. … [S]uch cases are relatively rare. Most monkey data that readily generalize to humans have not uncovered new facts about human behavior; rather, they have only verified principles that have already been formulated from previous human data.

        After four more decades of these experiments, nothing has changed. In a recent paper, Suomi and his colleagues drew this conclusion:

        [M]any findings from behavioral and biochemical studies in monkeys and other animals are not replicated in humans. Accordingly, this study cannot directly address the safety and efficacy of [anti-depressant drugs] in children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders. … [T]his animal model of maternal separation has never been validated as a measure of drug efficacy in humans. … The only way to know definitively whether [anti-depressant drugs work] in humans would be to study our species.”

        “Extensive experiments proving the damaging effects of maternal deprivation and isolation were carried out on rhesus monkeys by Harry Harlow and his students in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. And even after proof had been obtained, Harlow continued to devise ever more stressful situations… These experiments, getting more and more extreme, were unbelievably cruel. Nevertheless researchers continued working in this field after Harlow’s death, and continue to do so today. ….It is my understanding that monkeys are being subjected to what I consider inhumane experiments at a laboratory in Maryland that is, to some extent, funded by public money. I was shown a video in which infant monkeys were taking part in experiments which I considered extremely cruel and unacceptable…..I am shocked and saddened that this is so.”

        Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
        Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute
        U.N. Messenger of Peace

        And I don’t understand this, and I can’t stop crying. To treat primates in such a manner, primates who have been proven to have the same experience of life as we do (see Koko the Gorilla).

        Report comment