Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compound enhances SSRI antidepressant's effects in mice

Date:
June 21, 2013
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
A synthetic compound is able to turn off "secondary" vacuum cleaners in the brain that take up serotonin, resulting in the "happy" chemical being more plentiful, scientists have discovered. Their study points to novel targets to treat depression.

A synthetic compound is able to turn off "secondary" vacuum cleaners in the brain that take up serotonin, resulting in the "happy" chemical being more plentiful, scientists from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio have discovered. Their study, released June 18 by The Journal of Neuroscience, points to novel targets to treat depression.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that carries chemical signals, is associated with feelings of wellness. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed antidepressants that block a specific "vacuum cleaner" for serotonin (the serotonin transporter, or SERT) from taking up serotonin, resulting in more supply of the neurotransmitter in circulation in the extracellular fluid of the brain.

Delicate balance

"Serotonin is released by neurons in the brain," said Lyn Daws, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology in the School of Medicine. "Too much or too little may be a bad thing. It is thought that having too little serotonin is linked to depression. That's why we think Prozac-type drugs (SSRIs) work, by stopping the serotonin transporter from taking up serotonin from extracellular fluid in the brain."

A problem with SSRIs is that many depressed patients experience modest or no therapeutic benefit. It turns out that, while SSRIs block the activity of the serotonin transporter, they don't block other "vacuum cleaners." "Until now we did not appreciate the presence of backup cleaners for serotonin," Dr. Daws said. "We were not the first to show their presence in the brain, but we were among the first show that they were limiting the ability of the SSRIs to increase serotonin signaling in the brain. The study described in this new paper is the first demonstration of enhancing the antidepressant-like effect of an SSRI by concurrently blocking these backup vacuum cleaners."

Serotonin ceiling

Even if SERT activity is blocked, the backup vacuum cleaners (called organic cation transporters) keep a ceiling on how high the serotonin levels can rise, which likely limits the optimal therapeutic benefit to the patient, Dr. Daws said.

"Right now, the compound we have, decynium-22, is not an agent that we want to give to people in clinical trials," she said. "We are not there yet. Where we are is being able to use this compound to identify new targets in the brain for antidepressant activity and to turn to medicinal chemists to design molecules to block these secondary vacuum cleaners."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. E. Horton, D. M. Apple, W. A. Owens, N. L. Baganz, S. Cano, N. C. Mitchell, M. Vitela, G. G. Gould, W. Koek, L. C. Daws. Decynium-22 Enhances SSRI-Induced Antidepressant-Like Effects in Mice: Uncovering Novel Targets to Treat Depression. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (25): 10534 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5687-11.2013

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Compound enhances SSRI antidepressant's effects in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130621095717.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2013, June 21). Compound enhances SSRI antidepressant's effects in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130621095717.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Compound enhances SSRI antidepressant's effects in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130621095717.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins