Sex Differences in the Behavioral, Molecular, and Structural Effects of Ketamine Treatment in Depression.

TitleSex Differences in the Behavioral, Molecular, and Structural Effects of Ketamine Treatment in Depression.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsPonton E, Turecki G, Nagy C
JournalInt J Neuropsychopharmacol
Date Published2021 Nov 19
ISSN1469-5111
Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common psychiatric illness that manifests in sex-influenced ways. Men and women may experience depression differently and also respond to various antidepressant treatments in sex-influenced ways. Ketamine, which is now being used as a rapid-acting antidepressant, is likely the same. To date, the majority of studies investigating treatment outcomes in MDD do not disaggregate the findings in males and females, and this is also true for ketamine. This review aims to highlight that gap by exploring pre-clinical data-at a behavioral, molecular, and structural level-and recent clinical trials. Sex hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, influence the response at all levels examined, and sex is therefore a critical factor to examine when looking at ketamine response. Taken together, the data show females are more sensitive to ketamine than males, and it might be possible to monitor the phase of the menstrual cycle to mitigate some risks associated with the use of ketamine for females with MDD. Based on the studies reviewed in this article, we suggest that ketamine should be administered adhering to sex-specific considerations.

DOI10.1093/ijnp/pyab082
Alternate JournalInt J Neuropsychopharmacol
PubMed ID34894233
Grant ListFDN148374 / / Canadian Institute of Health Research /
/ / RQSHA and AMH collaborative initiative /