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

ts, 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.


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

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