A pair of receptors in the brain that react to hallucinogenic drugs are identified as a potential target for the treatment of psychosis, in a paper published online in Nature this week. The serotonin and glutamate receptors form a complex in the brain that triggers responses to drugs such as LSD and psilocybin.
Some antipsychotic drugs target the serotonin 5-HT2A receptors (2AR), and some hallucinogenic drugs act on the same receptors. Stuart Sealfon and colleagues show that the metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR2, a drug target for schizophrenia, interacts with 2AR to form a functional complex in the brain that is activated by hallucinogenic drugs. Activating mGluR2 blocks the effects of the hallucinogenic drugs in mice, and the normal balance of these receptors is disrupted in the brains of schizophrenic patients. The researchers believe that the complex may be a promising new target for treating psychosis.
Stuart Sealfon (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA)
(C) Nature press release.
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