Cytokines and Neutrophins in Neuroprotection

submitted by: alex01
Dr. Michael Spedding published recently a review on the role of cytokines and neurotrophins in disease. Neurotrophins (e.g. BDNF) have beneficial effects on neuronal plasticity and brain metabolism. Inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL1beta)oppose the effects of neurotrophins. Both, neurotrophins and cytokines are targets for the development of new drugs affecting central nervous system. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the main activity-dependent neurotrophic factor. Interleukin 1beta...

AMPA Ligands in Neuroprotection

submitted by: alex01
Michael Spedding (Institute Internatinales Servier, Paris, France) described how neuroprotection can be achieved by either by blockade or by stimulation of AMPA (a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid) receptors. Low threshold AMPA receptor stimulation leads to the release of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which is neuroprotective. Blockade of AMPA receptors reduces excitotoxicity leading to neuroprotection. BDNF is a major activity-dependent neurotrophic factor...

Cannabinoids

submitted by: alex01
Daniele Piomelli, PhD. - Another approach was discussed by D. Piomelli (University of California, Irvine). URB 597, an inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), is expected to increase anandamide signaling and is being currently clinically tested in the therapy of pain. An increase in anandamide signaling may also be useful in the therapy of depression. This is a novel approach to the development of antidepressants. The signaling can be enhanced by blocking anadamide metabolism or by...

GABAB and Other Brain Receptors

submitted by: alex01

S. Enna, PhD. Discussing structure, function and clinical role of GABAB receptors in the central nervous system. Receptor dimerization is important for their function. The main use of baclofen is in the treatment of muscular spasticity. GABAB receptors may also play a role in depression.

Treatment of Depression

submitted by: alex01

P. Skolnick, PhD - Depression is a highly heterogenous disorder. Currently available therapy is not sufficiently effective. DOV Pharmaceuticals has triple (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) uptake inhibitors in clinical evaluation. They are expected to be effective in a larger proportion of patients and have more rapid onset of action. They also reduce body weight and plasma triglycerides.