American Journal of Pharmacogenomics: Genomics-Related Research in Drug Development and Clinical Practice
No specific gene has been identified for any major psychiatric disorder, including schizophrenia, in spite of strong evidence supporting a genetic basis for these complex and devastating disorders. There are several likely reasons for this failure, ranging from poor study design with low statistical power to genetic mechanisms such as polygenic inheritance, epigenetic interactions, and pleiotropy. Most study designs currently in use are inadequate to uncover these mechanisms.
The treatment of severe mental illness, and of psychiatric disorders in general, is limited in its efficacy and tolerability. There appear to be substantial interindividual differences in response to psychiatric drug treatments that are generally far greater than the differences between individual drugs; likewise, the occurrence of adverse effects also varies profoundly between individuals. These differences are thought to reflect, at least in part, genetic variability.
Romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences. Both are linked to the perpetuation of the species and therefore have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance. Yet almost nothing is known about their neural correlates in the human. We therefore used fMRI to measure brain activity in mothers while they viewed pictures of their own and of acquainted children, and of their best friend and of acquainted adults as additional controls.
IDPH-791, when injected (ip) to mice potentiated the pentobarbitone sleeping time in a dose dependent manner. Involvement of neurotransmitters and receptors in this effect was studied using various receptor blockers, enzyme inhibitors, agonist and an amine depletor. Pretreatment with high dose of yohimbine (0.5 mg/kg), haloperidol, cyproheptadine, atropine and a combination of atropine and yohimbine significantly reversed the activity.
Despite the generally held view that alcohol is an unspecific pharmacological agent, recent molecular pharmacology studies demonstrated that alcohol has only a few known primary targets. These are the NMDA, GABA(A), glycine, 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (serotonin) and nicotinic ACh receptors as well as L-type Ca(2+) channels and G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) channels.
The development of neuroactive drugs is a time consuming procedure. Candidate drugs must be run through a battery of tests, including receptor studies and behavioural tests on animals. As a rule, numerous substances with promising properties as assessed in receptor studies must be eliminated from the development pipeline in advanced test phases because of unforeseen problems like intolerable side-effects or unsatisfactory performance in the whole organism. Clearly, test systems of intermediate complexity would alleviate this inefficiency.
Cognitive dysfunction is one of the most typical characteristics in various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease (advanced stage). Although several mechanisms like neuronal apoptosis and inflammatory responses have been recognized to be involved in the pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction in these diseases, recent studies on neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction have demonstrated a significant impact of receptor modulation on cognitive changes.
Using in vitro autoradiography, we investigated the effects of Kamikihito (KKT), a traditional Chinese medicine, on the specific binding of [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) and [3H]N-(1-[2-thienyl]cyclohexyl)-3,4-piperidine (TCP) in the rat brain. The Bmax but not the Kd values for [3H]QNB binding to the caudate/putamen and accumbens in aged rats were lower than those in young rats. The [3H]TCP binding was also decreased in aged rats compared with that in young rats. Long-term administration of KKT modulated the [3H]QNB binding in young but not aged rats.
We investigated the effects of the long-term administration of Kamikihito (KKT) on the specific binding of [3H]muscimol and [3H]flunitrazepam in the brains of young and aged rats using in vitro quantitative autoradiography. Specific [3H]muscimol binding in aged rats was decreased in all brain regions examined compared with that in young rats, whereas [3H]flunitrazepam binding did not change in any of the brain regions.