Navigation Links
OHSU Vollum Institute research gives new insight into how antidepressants work in the brain
Date:11/8/2013

PORTLAND, Ore. Research from Oregon Health & Science University's Vollum Institute, published in the current issue of Nature, is giving scientists a never-before-seen view of how nerve cells communicate with each other. That new view can give scientists a better understanding of how antidepressants work in the human brain and could lead to the development of better antidepressants with few or no side effects.

The article in today's edition of Nature came from the lab of Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., a senior scientist at OHSU's Vollum Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. The article describes research that gives a better view of the structural biology of a protein that controls communication between nerve cells. The view is obtained through special structural and biochemical methods Gouaux uses to investigate these neural proteins.

The Nature article focuses on the structure of the dopamine transporter, which helps regulate dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter for the human body's central nervous system; abnormal levels of dopamine are present in a range of neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, drug addiction, depression and schizophrenia. Along with dopamine, the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and serotonin are transported by related transporters, which can be studied with greater accuracy based on the dopamine transporter structure.

The Gouaux lab's more detailed view of the dopamine transporter structure better reveals how anti-depressants act on the transporters and thus do their work.

The more detailed view could help scientists and pharmaceutical companies develop drugs that do a much better job of targeting what they're trying to target and not create side effects caused by a broader blast at the brain proteins.

"By learning as much as possible about the structure of the transporter and its complexes with antidepressants, we have laid the foundation for the design of new molecules with better therapeutic profiles and, hopefully, with fewer deleterious side effects," said Gouaux.

Gouaux's latest dopamine transporter research is also important because it was done using the molecule from fruit flies, a dopamine transporter that is much more similar to those in humans than the bacteria models that previous studies had used.

The dopamine transporter article was one of two articles Gouaux had published in today's edition of Nature. The other article also dealt with a modified amino acid transporter that mimics the mammalian neurotransmitter transporter proteins targeted by antidepressants. It gives new insights into the pharmacology of four different classes of widely used antidepressants that act on certain transporter proteins, including transporters for dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. The second paper in part was validated by findings of the first paper in how an antidepressant bound itself to a specific transporter.

"What we ended up finding with this research was complementary and mutually reinforcing with the other work so that was really important," Gouaux said. "And it told us a great deal about how these transporters work and how they interact with the antidepressant molecules."

Gouaux's discoveries over the years in neurotransmission have established him as one of the top investigators in his field. His research has important implications for understanding the mechanisms of not just antidepressants, but also drugs used for the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric and neurological diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Todd Murphy
murphyt@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Diabetes Research Institute develops oxygen-generating biomaterial
2. Space research institute honors Sen. Hutchison with Pioneer Award
3. Scripps Research Institute scientists find promising vaccine targets on hepatitis C virus
4. Minneapolis Heart Institute selected to participate in Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network
5. Cary Institute Hydrofracking Forum
6. Scripps Research Institute Professor Gerald F. Joyce elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
7. Scripps Research Institute scientists develop antidote for cocaine overdose
8. NJIT, Chinas Bengbu Glass Institute sign agreement for R&D, training
9. Merkin Family Foundation to fund next generation of Broad Institute scientists
10. TGen leads new National Institutes of Health study of brain tumors
11. CUNY Energy Institute battery system could reduce buildings electric bills
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 KEY FINDINGS The global ... a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of ... factor for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is ... geography. The stem cell market of the product is ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/24/2017)... , July 24, 2017 Intralytix, Inc. ... funding from Lesaffre, a French family group. This investment ... companies to develop and commercialize bacteriophage-based products, for various ... mutual interest. ... Lesaffre designs manufactures and markets innovative solutions for baking, ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... , ... July 24, 2017 ... ... Kenny Soulstring, today announced that the stock market news outlet had initiated ... assessment diagnostic testing that screens and identifies exposure, progression and risk analysis ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Resoundant, Inc. is pleased to introduce ... U.S. that offer MR Elastography for liver fibrosis staging. MR Elastography is ... liver fibrosis assessment. , “MRE:connect was created in response to an increasing number ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... of life, today announced its full advisory board. The board comprises leaders spanning ... of James Crooks, PhD, former VP of Engineering, to Chief Technology Officer. Crooks ...
Breaking Biology Technology: