While the predominant hypothesis for many years was that schizophrenia was a glutamate deficit disorder, there is growing evidence of glutamate hyperactivity as well. The study by Karlsson et al., appearing in the November 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry, reinforces this point with new data about the impact of deleting the gene for the glutamate transporter EAAT1.
EAAT1, implicated in schizophrenia, plays a critical role in inactivating glutamate by removing it from the synaptic and extracellular spaces. The authors demonstrate that these “knockout” animals show increased responses to the NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist, MK-801. This drug causes the release of more glutamate into the synapse in the frontal cortex. This effect of MK-801 is reduced by a group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist, which reduces glutamate release.
Dr. Andrew Holmes, corresponding author, further discusses their findings, “Our study adds a new twist to [glutamate] research by showing that genetically disrupting a major regulator of glutamate’s ability to communicate between nerve cells produces certain ‘schizophrenia-like’ features in mice and, moreover, that these abnormalities can be corrected by a highly promising new class of glutamate-targeting antipsychotic treatments.” In fact, this class of drugs has already shown some preliminary efficacy in its ability to treat individuals suffering from schizophrenia.
John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments: “The NMDA receptor antagonist model and the EAAT1 knockout animal push us to take a fresh look at the obstacles to treating cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia, in other words, optimizing their cortical network function. This new look can lead us to drugs that would have been completely surprising as recently as 10 years ago, such as the group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists.”
Dr. Holmes does note that further research is warranted, stating, “What is now needed is more research to get a better handle on how disrupting this gene affects the brain’s neural wiring and molecular signaling pathways to produce the symptoms of schizophrenia.” This finding could ultimately help scientists develop new or improved treatments for this schizophrenia.
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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.
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...
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...
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...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy