Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Develop Method for Advancing Development of Antipsychotic Drugs

25.11.2011
Researchers interested in the treatment of schizophrenia and dementia have clarified how antipsychotic drugs that target a complex of two receptors at the surface of cells in the brain work, according to a new study published online Nov. 23 in the journal Cell.

The multidisciplinary team included researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, together with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. In an earlier, but related study, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine team had shown that two brain receptors, which bind the critical neurotransmitter signals serotonin and glutamate at the outside of the cell, form a complex in the areas of the brain that malfunction in schizophrenic patients.

The team has now developed a metric that may help determine the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs and advance drug design. The present work fills an important gap in knowledge as previously researchers did not understand how this receptor complex was connected to the phenotype of schizophrenia.

The current study findings show that the connection between the complex of the two receptors and the schizophrenic phenotype is a defect in how the serotonin and glutamate signals get interpreted at the inside of the cell, a process referred to as signaling. Moreover, it shows how antipsychotic drugs used to treat patients work to correct such a defect in the brain.

“Not only have we learned how antipsychotics drugs are effective, but we have also found that the signaling through this receptor complex is critical to how these anti-psychotics work,” said the study’s principal investigator Diomedes E. Logothetis, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in the study of ion channels and cell signaling mechanisms and chair of the VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

According to Logothetis, the most common cellular targets for drugs used in the clinic and by the pharmaceutical industry are G protein-coupled receptors, such as the ones that were examined in this study. Using cell and animal models, they found that the receptors signal very differently when they are together as a complex than when they are apart.

The metric developed by the team could be used to screen new drugs and determine their level of effectiveness, or be used to assess combination therapies - that is, putting two previously ineffective drugs together and making them more useful for some patients. Ultimately this work may translate to creating better antipsychotic drugs for patients.

“We can use the metric we developed to screen new drugs and determine their level of effectiveness,” Logothetis said. “We can also use the metric to assess what combinations of existing drugs will give us the ideal balance between the signaling through the two receptors of the complex.”

Logothetis said the hope is that by using this approach one day researchers will be able to develop a means by which high-throughput screening of drugs can be performed and they also will be able to develop more effective combinations of drugs that are able to help the third of schizophrenic patients who do not respond to current treatments.

Future studies will focus on further identifying the protein targets of the unique signaling pattern of this receptor complex and their link to schizophrenia.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of the study is available for reporters by email request from the journal by contacting elyons@cell.com.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center: Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 216 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

Sathya Achia Abraham | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>