Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vanderbilt scientists discover potential new way to treat anxiety

05.08.2013
Chemically modified inhibitors of the COX-2 enzyme relieve anxiety behaviors in mice by activating natural "endocannabinoids" without gastrointestinal side effects, Vanderbilt University scientists will report next week.

Endocannabinoids are natural signaling molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the same receptors turned on by the active ingredient in marijuana.

These receptors are also found in the gastrointestinal system and elsewhere in the body, and there is evidence that they play a role in wide range of physiological and pathological processes, in addition to modulating stress and anxiety.

If the "substrate-selective" COX-2 inhibitors developed at Vanderbilt also work in humans without side effects, they could represent a new approach to treating mood and anxiety disorders, the researchers conclude in a paper to be posted online Sunday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Clinical trials of some of these potential drugs could begin in the next several years, said Lawrence Marnett, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology and the paper's co-senior author with Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D.

The Vanderbilt scientists are pursuing other potential applications of activating endocannabinoids by substrate-selective COX-2 inhibition, including relieving pain, treating movement disorders, and possibly preventing colon cancer.

"The door is really wide open," said Patel, assistant professor of Psychiatry and of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics. "We've just scratched the surface."

Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain and inflammation by blocking either or both of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, which produce pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.

It has been known for several years that COX-2 inhibition also activates endocannabinoids.

Because the "substrate selective" inhibitors developed at Vanderbilt increase endocannabinoid levels in the mouse without blocking prostaglandin production, "we think (they) will not have the gastrointestinal and possibly cardiovascular side effects that other NSAIDs do," said Marnett, University Professor and Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research.

"We thought we knew everything there was to know about (COX-2 inhibitors) until about five years ago when we discovered the substrate selective inhibition," he added. The approach used by the Vanderbilt team "is a really powerful way to help design the next generation of drugs."

Daniel Hermanson, a graduate student in Chemistry, was first author of the paper. Other co-authors were Nolan Harley, Joyonna Gamble-George, Naoko Brown, Brian Shonesy, Ph.D., Phillip Kingsley, Roger Colbran, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Reese, M.D.

The three-year-long study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants CA089450, GM015431, NS064278, DA031572, HL096967, HL109199, MH063232, NS078291 and MH065215.

Bill Snyder | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.Vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>