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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Therapeutic Effect of Novel Antidepressant Drugs Acting at Specific Receptors of Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides

Author(s): Felix-Martin Werner* and Rafael Coveñas*

Volume 25, Issue 4, 2019

Page: [388 - 395] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1381612825666190410165243

Price: $65


Background: Major depression is a frequent psychiatric disease. One- third of the depressive patients remain treatment-resistant; thus, it is urgent to find novel antidepressant drugs.

Objective: In major depression, in several brain areas the neural networks involved and the alterations of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides are updated. According to these networks, new pharmacological agents and effective combinations of antidepressant drugs achieving a more efficacious antidepressant treatment are suggested.

Results: In the neural networks, the prefrontal cortex has been included. In this brain area, glutamatergic neurons, which receive an activating potential from D2 dopaminergic neurons, presynaptically inhibit M1 muscarinic cholinergic neurons via NMDA receptors. Medium spiny GABAergic/somatostatin neurons, which receive projections from M1 muscarinic cholinergic neurons, presynaptically inhibit D2 dopaminergic neurons via GABAA/somatostatin1 receptors. The combination of an NMDA receptor antagonist with an M1 muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist can achive a rapid, long-lasting antidepressant effect.

Conclusion: In preclinical studies, the antidepressant effect of orvepitant, an NK1 receptor antagonist, has been demonstrated: this antagonist reaches a complete blockade of NK1 receptors. In clinical studies, the combination of an NMDA receptor antagonist with an M1 muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist should be investigated indepth as well as the therapeutic effect of orvepitant. In clinical studies, the antidepressant effect of a triple reuptake inhibitor should be examined and compared to current antidepressant drugs.

Keywords: M1 acetylcholine antagonist, NMDA receptor antagonist, orvepitant, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, neural network, acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA.

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