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Special Issue "The Pathophysiology of Neuropsychiatric Disorders and New Therapeutic Targets"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kenji Hashimoto
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Chiba University Center for Forensic Mental Health, Chiba, Japan
Interests: schizophrenia; major depressive disorder; bipolar disorder; anxiety disorder; substance abuse; biomarker; prevention; oxidative stress; inflammation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and substance abuse, are commonly occurring and often seriously impairing in a number of countries throughout the world. Clinically, patients with these psychiatric disorders are treated by the use of antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant drugs, and anti-anxiety drugs. However, the efficacies of these drugs are limited. There are also treatment-resistant patients who do not respond current medications. Thus, understanding the pathophysiologies of these disorders is of imminent importance to advancing the management of these symptoms. Multiple genetic and environmental factors play a role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. Accumulating evidence shows that oxidative stress and inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiology of these disorders. In the past decade, advancements in genomics studies have revealed many molecular targets which, as substantiated by many cellular and in vivo animal studies, can be further explored as potential therapeutic targets. In addition, new cellular signaling that contributes to disease progression and perpetuation have also been unveiled. This Special Issue aims to provide research highlights that focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms and pathophysiologies of psychiatric disorders.

Kenji Hashimoto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biomarker
  • development
  • glia
  • immunity
  • inflammation
  • neuroprotection
  • neurotransmission
  • nutrition
  • oxidative stress
  • prevention

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Supplementary Motor Area in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Multi-Site Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030420 - 22 Mar 2016
Cited by 22
Abstract
Recently, strategies beyond pharmacological and psychological treatments have been developed for the management of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Specifically, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been employed as an adjunctive treatment in cases of treatment-refractory OCD. Here, we investigate six weeks of low frequency [...] Read more.
Recently, strategies beyond pharmacological and psychological treatments have been developed for the management of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Specifically, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been employed as an adjunctive treatment in cases of treatment-refractory OCD. Here, we investigate six weeks of low frequency rTMS, applied bilaterally and simultaneously over the sensory motor area, in OCD patients in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Twenty-two participants were randomly enrolled into the treatment (ACTIVE = 10) or placebo (SHAM = 12) groups. At each of seven visits (baseline; day 1 and weeks 2, 4, and 6 of treatment; and two and six weeks after treatment) the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was administered. At the end of the six weeks of rTMS, patients in the ACTIVE group showed a clinically significant decrease in Y-BOCS scores compared to both the baseline and the SHAM group. This effect was maintained six weeks following the end of rTMS treatment. Therefore, in this sample, rTMS appeared to significantly improve the OCD symptoms of the treated patients beyond the treatment window. More studies need to be conducted to determine the generalizability of these findings and to define the duration of rTMS’ clinical effect on the Y-BOCS. Clinical Trial Registration Number (NCT) at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00616486. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Neurobiology and Promising New Treatment in Depression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030381 - 15 Mar 2016
Cited by 28
Abstract
The limited effects of currently available antidepressants are becoming an urgent issue in depression research. It takes a long time to determine treatment effects, and the overall remission rate is low. Although we expect the development of non-monoamine antidepressants in the near future, [...] Read more.
The limited effects of currently available antidepressants are becoming an urgent issue in depression research. It takes a long time to determine treatment effects, and the overall remission rate is low. Although we expect the development of non-monoamine antidepressants in the near future, efforts in this regard over the past several decades have not yet been compensated. Thus, researchers and clinicians should clarify the neurobiological mechanisms of integrated modulators that regulate changes in genes, cells, the brain, and behaviors associated with depression. In this study, we review molecular neurobiological theories and new treatments for depression. Beyond neuroanatomy and monoamine theory, we discuss cells and molecules, neural plasticity, neurotrophisms, endocrine mechanisms, immunological mechanisms, genetics, circadian rhythms, and metabolic regulation in depression. In addition, we introduce the possibility of new antidepressant drug development using protein translation signaling (mTOR) pathways. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aberrant DNA Methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 in Borderline Personality Disorder
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17010067 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious psychic disease with a high risk for suicide. DNA methylation is a hallmark for aberrant epigenetic regulation and could be involved in the etiology of BPD. Previously, it has been reported that increased DNA methylation of [...] Read more.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious psychic disease with a high risk for suicide. DNA methylation is a hallmark for aberrant epigenetic regulation and could be involved in the etiology of BPD. Previously, it has been reported that increased DNA methylation of neuropsychiatric genes is found in the blood of patients with BPD compared to healthy controls. Here, we analyzed DNA methylation patterns of the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA promoter region and 5′-external transcribed spacer/5′ETS) and the promoter of the proline rich membrane anchor 1 gene (PRIMA1) in peripheral blood samples of 24 female patients (mean age (33 ± 11) years) diagnosed with DSM-IV BPD and in 11 female controls (mean age (32 ± 7) years). A significant aberrant methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 was revealed for BPD patients using pyrosequencing. For the promoter of PRIMA1, the average methylation of six CpG sites was 1.6-fold higher in BPD patients compared to controls. In contrast, the methylation levels of the rDNA promoter region and the 5′ETS were significantly lower (0.9-fold) in patients with BPD compared to controls. Thus, for nine CpGs located in the rDNA promoter region and for four CpGs at the 5′ETS decreased methylation was found in peripheral blood of patients compared to controls. Our results suggest that aberrant methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 is associated with the pathogenesis of BPD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacotherapy Treatment Options for Insomnia: A Primer for Clinicians
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17010050 - 30 Dec 2015
Cited by 28
Abstract
Insomnia is a prevalent disorder with deleterious effects such as decreased quality of life, and a predisposition to a number of psychiatric disorders. Fortunately, numerous approved hypnotic treatments are available. This report reviews the state of the art of pharmacotherapy with a reference [...] Read more.
Insomnia is a prevalent disorder with deleterious effects such as decreased quality of life, and a predisposition to a number of psychiatric disorders. Fortunately, numerous approved hypnotic treatments are available. This report reviews the state of the art of pharmacotherapy with a reference to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as well. It provides the clinician with a guide to all the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hypnotics (benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, ramelteon, low dose sinequan, and suvorexant) including potential side effects. Frequently, chronic insomnia lasts longer than 2 years. Cognizant of this and as a result of longer-term studies, the FDA has approved all hypnotics since 2005 without restricting the duration of use. Our manuscript also reviews off-label hypnotics (sedating antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and antihistamines) which in reality, are more often prescribed than approved hypnotics. The choice of which hypnotic to choose is discussed partially being based on which segment of sleep is disturbed and whether co-morbid illnesses exist. Lastly, we discuss recent label changes required by the FDA inserting a warning about “sleep-related complex behaviors”, e.g., sleep-driving for all hypnotics. In addition, we discuss FDA mandated dose reductions for most zolpidem preparations in women due to high zolpidem levels in the morning hours potentially causing daytime carry-over effects. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Maternal Prenatal Mental Health and Placental 11β-HSD2 Gene Expression: Initial Findings from the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 27482-27496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161126034 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 33
Abstract
High intrauterine cortisol exposure can inhibit fetal growth and have programming effects for the child’s subsequent stress reactivity. Placental 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD2) limits the amount of maternal cortisol transferred to the fetus. However, the relationship between maternal psychopathology and 11β-HSD2 remains poorly defined. [...] Read more.
High intrauterine cortisol exposure can inhibit fetal growth and have programming effects for the child’s subsequent stress reactivity. Placental 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD2) limits the amount of maternal cortisol transferred to the fetus. However, the relationship between maternal psychopathology and 11β-HSD2 remains poorly defined. This study examined the effect of maternal depressive disorder, antidepressant use and symptoms of depression and anxiety in pregnancy on placental 11β-HSD2 gene (HSD11B2) expression. Drawing on data from the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study, placental HSD11B2 expression was compared among 33 pregnant women, who were selected based on membership of three groups; depressed (untreated), taking antidepressants and controls. Furthermore, associations between placental HSD11B2 and scores on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during 12–18 and 28–34 weeks gestation were examined. Findings revealed negative correlations between HSD11B2 and both the EPDS and STAI (r = −0.11 to −0.28), with associations being particularly prominent during late gestation. Depressed and antidepressant exposed groups also displayed markedly lower placental HSD11B2 expression levels than controls. These findings suggest that maternal depression and anxiety may impact on fetal programming by down-regulating HSD11B2, and antidepressant treatment alone is unlikely to protect against this effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The mRNA Expression Status of Dopamine Receptor D2, Dopamine Receptor D3 and DARPP-32 in T Lymphocytes of Patients with Early Psychosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 26677-26686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161125983 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
Peripheral blood lymphocytes are an attractive tool because there is accumulating evidence indicating that lymphocytes may be utilized as a biomarker in the field of psychiatric study as they could reveal the condition of cells distributed in the brain. Here, we measured the [...] Read more.
Peripheral blood lymphocytes are an attractive tool because there is accumulating evidence indicating that lymphocytes may be utilized as a biomarker in the field of psychiatric study as they could reveal the condition of cells distributed in the brain. Here, we measured the mRNA expression status of dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2), DRD3, and dopamine and cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate regulated phosphoprotein-32 (DARPP-32) in T lymphocytes of patients with early psychosis by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) and explored the relationships between their mRNA levels and the psychopathological status of patients. The present study demonstrated that the mRNA expression levels of DRD3 in T lymphocytes were significantly different among controls, and in patients with psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (NOS) and schizophrenia/schizophreniform disorder. However, no significant differences in mRNA expression levels of DRD2 and DARPP-32 were found among the three groups. We found a significant positive correlation between the DRD2 mRNA level and the score of the excited factor of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) in patients with schizophrenia/schizophreniform disorder. These findings suggest that DRD3 mRNA levels may serve as a potential diagnostic biomarker differentiating patients with early psychosis from controls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adding Sarcosine to Antipsychotic Treatment in Patients with Stable Schizophrenia Changes the Concentrations of Neuronal and Glial Metabolites in the Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 24475-24489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161024475 - 15 Oct 2015
Cited by 14
Abstract
The glutamatergic system is a key point in pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Sarcosine (N-methylglycine) is an exogenous amino acid that acts as a glycine transporter inhibitor. It modulates glutamatergic transmission by increasing glycine concentration around NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors. In patients [...] Read more.
The glutamatergic system is a key point in pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Sarcosine (N-methylglycine) is an exogenous amino acid that acts as a glycine transporter inhibitor. It modulates glutamatergic transmission by increasing glycine concentration around NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors. In patients with schizophrenia, the function of the glutamatergic system in the prefrontal cortex is impaired, which may promote negative and cognitive symptoms. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy is a non-invasive imaging method enabling the evaluation of brain metabolite concentration, which can be applied to assess pharmacologically induced changes. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of a six-month course of sarcosine therapy on the concentration of metabolites (NAA, N-acetylaspartate; Glx, complex of glutamate, glutamine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA); mI, myo-inositol; Cr, creatine; Cho, choline) in the left dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in patients with stable schizophrenia. Fifty patients with schizophrenia, treated with constant antipsychotics doses, in stable clinical condition were randomly assigned to administration of sarcosine (25 patients) or placebo (25 patients) for six months. Metabolite concentrations in DLPFC were assessed with 1.5 Tesla 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Clinical symptoms were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The first spectroscopy revealed no differences in metabolite concentrations between groups. After six months, NAA/Cho, mI/Cr and mI/Cho ratios in the left DLPFC were significantly higher in the sarcosine than the placebo group. In the sarcosine group, NAA/Cr, NAA/Cho, mI/Cr, mI/Cho ratios also significantly increased compared to baseline values. In the placebo group, only the NAA/Cr ratio increased. The addition of sarcosine to antipsychotic therapy for six months increased markers of neurons viability (NAA) and neurogilal activity (mI) with simultaneous improvement of clinical symptoms. Sarcosine, two grams administered daily, seems to be an effective adjuvant in the pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diurnal Expression of the Per2 Gene and Protein in the Lateral Habenular Nucleus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 16740-16749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160816740 - 23 Jul 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
The suprachiasmatic nucleus plays an important role in generating circadian rhythms in mammals. The lateral habenular nucleus (LHb) is closely linked to this structure. Interestingly, the LHb shows a rhythmic firing rate in vivo and in vitro, and sustained oscillation of rhythmic [...] Read more.
The suprachiasmatic nucleus plays an important role in generating circadian rhythms in mammals. The lateral habenular nucleus (LHb) is closely linked to this structure. Interestingly, the LHb shows a rhythmic firing rate in vivo and in vitro, and sustained oscillation of rhythmic genes in vitro. However, under the in vivo condition, whether rhythmic gene expression in the LHb has circadian rhythms remains unknown. In this study, we examined LHb tissue in rats to determine Period2 (Per2) gene and protein expression at six zeitgeber time points (ZT2, ZT6, ZT10, ZT14, ZT18, and ZT22) in a 12-h light and 12-h dark (LD) environment. We found that in the LD environment, Per2 gene expression and PER2 protein levels in the LHb were higher in the day and lower in the night, showing periodic oscillation, with a peak at ZT10 and a trough at ZT22 (Per2 mRNA) and ZT18 (PER2 protein). We conclude that Per2 expression and PER2 protein levels in the LHb have rhythmic oscillation in vivo. This study provides a basis for further study on the role of the LHb in the circadian rhythm system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sex-Specific Patterns of Aberrant Brain Function in First-Episode Treatment-Naive Patients with Schizophrenia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16125-16143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716125 - 16 Jul 2015
Cited by 12
Abstract
Male and female patients with schizophrenia show significant differences in a number of important clinical features, yet the neural substrates of these differences are still poorly understood. Here we explored the sex differences in the brain functional aberrations in 124 treatment-naïve patients with [...] Read more.
Male and female patients with schizophrenia show significant differences in a number of important clinical features, yet the neural substrates of these differences are still poorly understood. Here we explored the sex differences in the brain functional aberrations in 124 treatment-naïve patients with first-episode schizophrenia (61 males), compared with 102 age-matched healthy controls (50 males). Maps of degree centrality (DC) and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) were constructed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data and compared between groups. We found that: (1) Selective DC reduction was observed in the right putamen (Put_R) in male patients and the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) in female patients; (2) Functional connectivity analysis (using Put_R and MFG as seeds) found that male and female patients have disturbed functional integration in two separate networks, i.e., the sensorimotor network and the default mode network; (3) Significant ALFF alterations were also observed in these two networks in both genders; (4) Sex specific brain functional alterations were associated with various symptoms in patients. These results suggested that sex-specific patterns of functional aberration existed in schizophrenia, and these patterns were associated with the clinical features both in male and female patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Metacognition in Early Phase Psychosis: Toward Understanding Neural Substrates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14640-14654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160714640 - 29 Jun 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Individuals in the early phases of psychotic illness have disturbed metacognitive capacity, which has been linked to a number of poor outcomes. Little is known, however, about the neural systems associated with metacognition in this population. The purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
Individuals in the early phases of psychotic illness have disturbed metacognitive capacity, which has been linked to a number of poor outcomes. Little is known, however, about the neural systems associated with metacognition in this population. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the neuroanatomical correlates of metacognition. We anticipated that higher levels of metacognition may be dependent upon gray matter density (GMD) of regions within the prefrontal cortex. Examining whole-brain structure in 25 individuals with early phase psychosis, we found positive correlations between increased medial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum GMD and higher metacognition. These findings represent an important step in understanding the path through which the biological correlates of psychotic illness may culminate into poor metacognition and, ultimately, disrupted functioning. Such a path will serve to validate and promote metacognition as a viable treatment target in early phase psychosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lack of Association between the TSPAN18 Gene and Schizophrenia Based on New Data from Han Chinese and a Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 11864-11872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160611864 - 26 May 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Tetraspanin-18 (TSPAN18) potentially plays a role in the calcium signaling that is associated with dopamine-induced cortical neuron apoptosis and is considered to be an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SCZ). Furthermore, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified TSPAN18 as [...] Read more.
Tetraspanin-18 (TSPAN18) potentially plays a role in the calcium signaling that is associated with dopamine-induced cortical neuron apoptosis and is considered to be an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SCZ). Furthermore, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified TSPAN18 as a possible susceptibility gene for SCZ. To validate these findings and reveal the effects of different inheritance models, seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TSPAN18 gene were analyzed in 443 patients with SCZ and 628 controls of Han Chinese descent via the SNPscan method. Single SNP, genotype, and association analyses with different models (i.e., additive, dominant, and recessive models) were performed, and the published datasets (2062 cases and 2053 controls) were combined with our results to determine the inheritance effects of the SNPs on SCZ. We observed genotypes and allele distributions of TSPAN18 gene did not show any significant associations in the Han Chinese population based on our experimental and meta-analytical results. Our findings indicate that the TSPAN18 gene is unlikely to be a major susceptibility gene for schizophrenia in Han Chinese. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Obesity and Its Potential Effects on Antidepressant Treatment Outcomes in Patients with Depressive Disorders: A Literature Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17010080 - 12 Jan 2016
Cited by 28
Abstract
Accumulating evidence regarding clinical, neurobiological, genetic, and environmental factors suggests a bidirectional link between obesity and depressive disorders. Although a few studies have investigated the link between obesity/excess body weight and the response to antidepressants in depressive disorders, the effect of weight on [...] Read more.
Accumulating evidence regarding clinical, neurobiological, genetic, and environmental factors suggests a bidirectional link between obesity and depressive disorders. Although a few studies have investigated the link between obesity/excess body weight and the response to antidepressants in depressive disorders, the effect of weight on treatment response remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarized recent data regarding the relationship between the response to antidepressants and obesity/excess body weight in clinical studies of patients with depressive disorders. Although several studies indicated an association between obesity/excess body weight and poor antidepressant responses, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions due to the variability of subject composition and methodological differences among studies. Especially, differences in sex, age and menopausal status, depressive symptom subtypes, and antidepressants administered may have caused inconsistencies in the results among studies. The relationship between obesity/excess body weight and antidepressant responses should be investigated further in high-powered studies addressing the differential effects on subject characteristics and treatment. Moreover, future research should focus on the roles of mediating factors, such as inflammatory markers and neurocognitive performance, which may alter the antidepressant treatment outcome in patients with comorbid obesity and depressive disorder. Full article
Open AccessReview
Alterations of Dopamine D2 Receptors and Related Receptor-Interacting Proteins in Schizophrenia: The Pivotal Position of Dopamine Supersensitivity Psychosis in Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 30144-30163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226228 - 17 Dec 2015
Cited by 25
Abstract
Although the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) has been a main target of antipsychotic pharmacotherapy for the treatment of schizophrenia, the standard treatment does not offer sufficient relief of symptoms to 20%–30% of patients suffering from this disorder. Moreover, over 80% of patients experience [...] Read more.
Although the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) has been a main target of antipsychotic pharmacotherapy for the treatment of schizophrenia, the standard treatment does not offer sufficient relief of symptoms to 20%–30% of patients suffering from this disorder. Moreover, over 80% of patients experience relapsed psychotic episodes within five years following treatment initiation. These data strongly suggest that the continuous blockade of DRD2 by antipsychotic(s) could eventually fail to control the psychosis in some point during long-term treatment, even if such treatment has successfully provided symptomatic improvement for the first-episode psychosis, or stability for the subsequent chronic stage. Dopamine supersensitivity psychosis (DSP) is historically known as a by-product of antipsychotic treatment in the manner of tardive dyskinesia or transient rebound psychosis. Numerous data in psychopharmacological studies suggest that the up-regulation of DRD2, caused by antipsychotic(s), is likely the mechanism underlying the development of the dopamine supersensitivity state. However, regardless of evolving notions of dopamine signaling, particularly dopamine release, signal transduction, and receptor recycling, most of this research has been conducted and discussed from the standpoint of disease etiology or action mechanism of the antipsychotic, not of DSP. Hence, the mechanism of the DRD2 up-regulation or mechanism evoking clinical DSP, both of which are caused by pharmacotherapy, remains unknown. Once patients experience a DSP episode, they become increasingly difficult to treat. Light was recently shed on a new aspect of DSP as a treatment-resistant factor. Clarification of the detailed mechanism of DSP is therefore crucial, and a preventive treatment strategy for DSP or treatment-resistant schizophrenia is urgently needed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Historical Development of Immunoendocrine Concepts of Psychiatric Disorders and Their Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28841-28869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226136 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
Relationships between the central nervous, immune and endocrine systems are a focus of psychiatric research, particularly in depression and schizophrenia. The field has long antecedents. Observed phenomena attributable to these relationships date back to the Neolithic era. Immunoendocrine theories in the broadest sense [...] Read more.
Relationships between the central nervous, immune and endocrine systems are a focus of psychiatric research, particularly in depression and schizophrenia. The field has long antecedents. Observed phenomena attributable to these relationships date back to the Neolithic era. Immunoendocrine theories in the broadest sense are recorded in antiquity. In the 19th century, Kraepelin and Wagner-Jauregg reported pioneering clinical observations in psychiatric patients. Von Basedow, Addison and Cushing described psychiatric symptoms in patients suffering from endocrine diseases. The 20th century opened with the identification of hormones, the first, adrenaline, chemically isolated independently by Aldrich und Takamine in 1901. Berson and Yalow developed the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique in 1959 making it possible to measure levels of hormones and cytokines. These developments have enabled great strides in psychoimmunoendocrinology. Contemporary research is investigating diagnostic and therapeutic applications of these concepts, for example by identifying biomarkers within the endocrine and immune systems and by synthesizing and testing drugs that modulate these systems and show antidepressant or antipsychotic properties. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Targets for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Emerging from Animal Models with Perinatal Immune Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28218-28229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226092 - 27 Nov 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
Increasing epidemiological evidence indicates that perinatal infection with various viral pathogens enhances the risk for several psychiatric disorders. The pathophysiological significance of astrocyte interactions with neurons and/or gut microbiomes has been reported in neurodevelopmental disorders triggered by pre- and postnatal immune insults. Recent [...] Read more.
Increasing epidemiological evidence indicates that perinatal infection with various viral pathogens enhances the risk for several psychiatric disorders. The pathophysiological significance of astrocyte interactions with neurons and/or gut microbiomes has been reported in neurodevelopmental disorders triggered by pre- and postnatal immune insults. Recent studies with the maternal immune activation or neonatal polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid models of neurodevelopmental disorders have identified various candidate molecules that could be responsible for brain dysfunction. Here, we review the functions of several candidate molecules in neurodevelopment and brain function and discuss their potential as therapeutic targets for psychiatric disorders. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Functional Selectivity and Antidepressant Activity of Serotonin 1A Receptor Ligands
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18474-18506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160818474 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 38
Abstract
Serotonin (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter that plays an important role in physiological functions. 5-HT has been implicated in sleep, feeding, sexual behavior, temperature regulation, pain, and cognition as well as in pathological states including disorders connected to mood, anxiety, psychosis and pain. [...] Read more.
Serotonin (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter that plays an important role in physiological functions. 5-HT has been implicated in sleep, feeding, sexual behavior, temperature regulation, pain, and cognition as well as in pathological states including disorders connected to mood, anxiety, psychosis and pain. 5-HT1A receptors have for a long time been considered as an interesting target for the action of antidepressant drugs. It was postulated that postsynaptic 5-HT1A agonists could form a new class of antidepressant drugs, and mixed 5-HT1A receptor ligands/serotonin transporter (SERT) inhibitors seem to possess an interesting pharmacological profile. It should, however, be noted that 5-HT1A receptors can activate several different biochemical pathways and signal through both G protein-dependent and G protein-independent pathways. The variables that affect the multiplicity of 5-HT1A receptor signaling pathways would thus result from the summation of effects specific to the host cell milieu. Moreover, receptor trafficking appears different at pre- and postsynaptic sites. It should also be noted that the 5-HT1A receptor cooperates with other signal transduction systems (like the 5-HT1B or 5-HT2A/2B/2C receptors, the GABAergic and the glutaminergic systems), which also contribute to its antidepressant and/or anxiolytic activity. Thus identifying brain specific molecular targets for 5-HT1A receptor ligands may result in a better targeting, raising a hope for more effective medicines for various pathologies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Overview of Nrf2 as Therapeutic Target in Epilepsy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18348-18367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160818348 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 28
Abstract
Oxidative stress is a biochemical state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and antioxidant defenses. It is involved in the physiopathology of degenerative and chronic neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy. Experimental evidence in humans and animals support the [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is a biochemical state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and antioxidant defenses. It is involved in the physiopathology of degenerative and chronic neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy. Experimental evidence in humans and animals support the involvement of oxidative stress before and after seizures. In the past few years, research has increasingly focused on the molecular pathways of this process, such as that involving transcription factor nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which plays a central role in the regulation of antioxidant response elements (ARE) and modulates cellular redox status. The aim of this review is to present experimental evidence on the role of Nrf2 in this neurological disorder and to further determine the therapeutic impact of Nrf2 in epilepsy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Inflammatory Biomarkers as Differential Predictors of Antidepressant Response
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 7796-7801; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16047796 - 08 Apr 2015
Cited by 69
Abstract
Although antidepressants are generally effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), it can still take weeks before patients feel the full antidepressant effects. Despite the efficacy of standard treatments, approximately two-thirds of patients with MDD fail to respond to pharmacotherapy. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Although antidepressants are generally effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), it can still take weeks before patients feel the full antidepressant effects. Despite the efficacy of standard treatments, approximately two-thirds of patients with MDD fail to respond to pharmacotherapy. Therefore, the identification of blood biomarkers that can predict the treatment response to antidepressants would be highly useful in order to improve this situation. This article discusses inflammatory molecules as predictive biomarkers for antidepressant responses to several classes of antidepressants, including the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine. Full article
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