Scholarly Publications by Japanese Authors in BSP Journal: CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets

CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug TargetsImage

Biosynthetic Pathways of Bioactive N-Acylethanolamines in Brain

Author(s): Kazuhito Tsuboi, Natsuki Ikematsu, Toru Uyama, Dale G. Deutsch, Akira Tokumura and Natsuo Ueda

Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry, Kagawa University School of Medicine, 1750-1 Ikenobe, Miki, Kagawa 761-0793, Japan.

Abstract

Ethanolamides of long-chain fatty acids are a class of endogenous lipid mediators generally referred to as Nacylethanolamines (NAEs). NAEs include anti-inflammatory and analgesic palmitoylethanolamide, anorexic oleoylethanolamide, and the endocannabinoid anandamide. Since the endogenous levels of NAEs are principally regulated by enzymes responsible for their biosynthesis and degradation, these enzymes are expected as targets for the development of therapeutic agents. Thus, a better understanding of these enzymes is indispensable. The classic “N-acylationphosphodiesterase pathway” for NAE biosynthesis is composed of two steps; the formation of Nacylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) by N-acyltransferase and the release of NAE from NAPE by NAPE-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD). However, recent studies, including the analysis of NAPE-PLD-deficient (NAPE-PLD-/-) mice, revealed the presence of NAPE-PLD-independent multi-step pathways to form NAEs from NAPE in animal tissues. Our recent studies using NAPE-PLD-/- mice also suggest that NAE is formed not only from NAPE, but also from Nacylated plasmalogen-type ethanolamine phospholipid (N-acyl-plasmenylethanolamine) through both NAPE-PLDdependent and -independent pathways. Here, we present recent findings on NAE biosynthetic pathways mainly occurring in the brain.

 
 
Author(s): Saki Shimizu, Yuto Mizuguchi and Yukihiro Ohno

Affiliation: Laboratory of Pharmacology, OsakaUniversity of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4-20-1 Nasahara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1094, Japan.

Abstract

Patients with schizophrenia exhibit various clinical symptoms including positive and negative symptoms, neurocognitive impairments and mood disturbances. Although a series of second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) (e.g., risperidone, olanzapine and quetiapine) have been developed in the past two decades, clinical reports do not necessarily show advantages over first generation antipsychotics (FGAs) in the treatment of schizophrenia, especially in their efficacy against cognitive impairment and ability to cause extrapyramidal side effects (EPS). Recently, several lines of studies have revealed therapeutic roles of 5-HT receptors in modulating cognitive impairments and extrapyramidal motor disorders. Specifically, inhibition of 5-HT1A, 5-HT3 and 5-HT6 receptors or activation of 5-HT4 receptors alleviates cognitive impairments (e.g., deficits in learning and memory). In addition, stimulation of 5-HT1A receptors or inhibition of 5-HT3and 5-HT6 receptors as well as 5-HT2A/2C receptors can ameliorate extrapyramidal motor disorders. Thus, controlling the activity of 5-HT1A, 5-HT3 or 5-HT6receptors seems to provide benefits by both alleviating cognitive impairments and reducing antipsychotic-induced EPS. This article reviews the functional roles and mechanisms of 5-HT receptors in the treatment of schizophrenia, focusing on the serotonergic modulation of cognitive and extrapyramidal motor functions, and illustrates future therapeutic strategies.

 

Beyond Rodent Models of Pain: Non-Human Primate Models for Evaluating Novel Analgesic Therapeutics and Elaborating Pain Mechanisms

Author(s): Aldric T. Hama, Katsuo Toide and Hiroyuki Takamatsu

Affiliation: Hamamatsu Pharma Research, Kita-ku, 1-3-7 Shinmiyakoda, Hamamatsu 431-2103, Japan.

Abstract

Evaluation of potential analgesic therapeutics and the elaboration of the neurobiology of pain have heavily relied on pain models developed in rodents. However, a limitation of rodents is their phylogenetic distance from humans, which could in part account for the failure of some preclinical findings to translate to clinical utility. By contrast, given their genetic closeness and phenotypic similarities to humans, it is suggested that there be greater utilization of non-human primates (NHP) in preclinical pain studies. Methods to induce chronic pain-like states and quantify changes in nociception that have been developed in rodents could be adapted to the NHP. Similarly, human experimental injury-induced sensitization, which attempts to temporarily mimic the neuropathology and symptoms observed in the chronic pain state, could be adapted to the NHP. The NHP could then serve as a platform to validate human experimental models as well as proof-of-concept studies. Beyond experimentally modeled pain states, a number of naturally occurring disease states, such as osteoarthritis, are expressed by NHP, which could be utilized for both hypothesis testing and proof-of-concept studies. While NHP studies are logistically cumbersome, it is envisioned that NHP pain models will add value to current preclinical data and greatly facilitate the discovery of novel analgesic treatments.

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