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Drugs of the Future
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Drugs Fut 2007, 32(9): 809
ISSN 0377-8282
e-ISSN 2013-0368
Copyright 2007 Clarivate
CCC: 0377-8282
DOI: 10.1358/dof.2007.032.09.1131450
Neuropeptide receptors: Novel therapeutic targets for depression and anxiety disorders
Chaki, S., Kanuma, K.
Recently, numerous neuropeptides (short-chain amino acids) have been suggested to play pivotal roles in stress responses. Neuropeptides are synthesized in restricted brain regions and act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators in the brain. Moreover, their expression and secretion are altered upon exposure to stress, resulting in several stress responses, including depressive and anxiety-like behaviors. Neuropeptides exert their effects through specific receptors, most of which belong to the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily. A series of neurochemical and behavioral studies utilizing pharmacological tools and genetically engineered animals have delineated the role of each receptor subtype in stress-related responses. In particular, agents that act on receptors for vasopressin, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), neuropeptide Y (NPY), melanocortin, galanin or nociceptin/orphanin FQ could be attractive targets for drug discovery for the treatment of stress-related disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders.

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