Current Neuropharmacology (v.10, #1)

PREFACE by Thomas E. Salt (1-1).
This Editorial marks the beginning of the tenth year of publication of Current Neuropharmacology. As Chief Editor I have watched the growth and success of the journal with great pleasure. The impact of Current Neuropharmacology has steadily increased and the journal is freely available on PubMed Central. The standard and range of reviews and special issues consistently attains high standards. Naturally, none of this would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of authors, Editorial Board members, Special Guest Editors, anonymous reviewers, and of course the tireless efforts of Bentham Science Publishers. To all of these I express my sincere thanks. The diversity and high standard of work published in Current Neuropharmacology is reflected in the content of the present issue of the journal. The subject matter ranges from reviews of the pharmacology of specific types of receptors (e.g. Therapeutic Potential of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Modulators by Hovelso, evaluation of disease mechanisms and pharmacology (e.g. Effects of Cocaine on Maternal Behavior and Neurochemistry by Nephew & Febo) to reviews of clinical data (e.g. Clozapine-Induced Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms in Schizophrenia: A Critical Review by Schirmbeck & Zink). For Current Neuropharmacology to continue to thrive it is important that diversity and high standards are maintained. With its increasing impact and visibility, I believe that the journal offers an excellent vehicle for the publication of novel reviews and hypotheses, and I look forward to the submission and publication of novel and leading papers in the future.

Background: schizophrenia's endophenotipic profile is not only generally complex, but often varies from case to case. The perspective of trying to define specific anatomic correlates of the syndrome has led to disappointing results. In that context, neurophysiologic hypotheses (e.g. glutamatergic hypothesis) and connectivity hypotheses became prominent. Nevertheless, despite their commitment to the principle of denying ‘localist’ views and approaching the syndrome's endophenotype from a whole brain perspective, efforts to integrate both have not flourished at this moment in time. Objectives: This paper aims to introduce a new etiological model that integrates the glutamatergic and the WM (WM) hypotheses of schizophrenia's etiology. This model proposes to serve as a framework in order to relate to patterns of brain abnormalities from the onset of the syndrome to stages of advanced chronification. Highlights: Neurotransmitter abnormalities forego noticeable WM abnormalities. The former, chiefly represented by NMDAR hypo-function and associated molecular cascades, is related to the first signs of cell loss. This process is both directly and indirectly integrated to the underpinning of WM structural abnormalities; not only is the excess of glutamate toxic to the WM, but its disruption is associated to the expression of known genetic risk factors (e.g., NRG-1). A second level of the model develops the idea that abnormal neurotransmission within specific neural populations (‘motifs’) impair particular cognitive abilities, while subsequent WM structural abnormalities impair the integration of brain functions and multimodality. As a result of this two-stage dynamic, the affected individual progresses from experiencing specific cognitive and psychological deficits, to a condition of cognitive and existential fragmentation, linked to hardly reversible decreases in psychosocial functioning.

Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) and is a major player in complex brain functions. Glutamatergic transmission is primarily mediated by ionotropic glutamate receptors, which include NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors. However, glutamate exerts modulatory actions through a family of metabotropic G-protein-coupled glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Dysfunctions of glutamatergic neurotransmission have been implicated in the etiology of several diseases. Therefore, pharmacological modulation of ionotropic glutamate receptors has been widely investigated as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of several disorders associated with glutamatergic dysfunction. However, blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors might be accompanied by severe side effects due to their vital role in many important physiological functions. A different strategy aimed at pharmacologically interfering with mGluR function has recently gained interest. Many subtype selective agonists and antagonists have been identified and widely used in preclinical studies as an attempt to elucidate the role of specific mGluRs subtypes in glutamatergic transmission. These studies have allowed linkage between specific subtypes and various physiological functions and more importantly to pathological states. This article reviews the currently available knowledge regarding the therapeutic potential of targeting mGluRs in the treatment of several CNS disorders, including schizophrenia, addiction, major depressive disorder and anxiety, Fragile X Syndrome, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and pain.

During the last 50 years the global pandemic of obesity and associated life-threatening co-morbidities strongly promoted the development of anti-obesity pharmacotherapy. Sibutramine is an anti-obesity drug that in conjunction with lifestyle modifications reduces food intake and body weight. This may result from several effects: inhibition of presynaptic reuptake of monoaminergic neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, thereby suppressing appetite, induction of an increase in anorexigenic and a decrease in orexigenic neuropeptide secretion, induction of an increase in energy expenditure, and induction of peripheral sympathomimetic effects. The effects of sibutramine on anabolic and catabolic signals that regulate energy homeostasis in the hypothalamus are not completely understood. So, the aim of this review is to summarize the central mechanisms of action of sibutramine, responsible for its weight and food intake reducing potential. Despite being a useful drug in obesity treatment, awareness about the loss of long-term effectiveness and detrimental side effects of sibutramine has recently emerged. As a consequence, new drugs that produce safer and more persistent weight loss are currently undergoing clinical trials.

Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder that involves drug seeking and abuse despite the negative social and health consequences. While the potential effects of cocaine on child development have been extensively studied over the last 30 years, few researchers have focused on the effects of cocaine on maternal behavior, which includes offspring care and maternal aggression towards an unfamiliar individual. In humans, maternal cocaine use can lead to child neglect, abuse, and disrupt the mother-child bond. While it has been argued the developmental effects of maternal cocaine use on children were initially overstated, it is clear that disruptions of typical maternal behavior (i.e. postpartum depression, anxiety disorders) are detrimental to the physical and emotional health of offspring. Cocaine use in mothers is commonly associated with psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, and it is postulated that many of the negative effects of maternal cocaine use on offspring are mediated through changes in maternal behavior. This review will summarize research on cocaine and maternal behavior in animal and human studies, discuss potential mechanisms, and suggest therapeutic strategies for treating cocaine-affected maternal behavior which may improve the physical and behavioral health of both mother and child. The primary objective is to stimulate future communication, cooperation, and collaboration between researchers who use animals and humans to study cocaine and maternal behavior.

Cypermethrin, a class II pyrethroid pesticide, is used to control insects in the household and agricultural fields. Despite beneficial roles, its uncontrolled and repetitive applications lead to unintended effects in non-target organisms. Cypermethrin crosses the blood-brain barrier and induces neurotoxicity and motor deficits. Cypermethrin prolongs the opening of sodium channel, a major site of its action, leading to hyper-excitation of the central nervous system. In addition to sodium channel, cypermethrin modulates chloride, voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels, alters the activity of glutamate and acetylcholine receptors and adenosine triphosphatases and induces DNA damage and oxidative stress in the neuronal cells. Cypermethrin also modulates the level of neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid and dopamine. It is one of the most commonly used pesticides in neurotoxicology research not only because of its variable responses depending upon the doses, time and routes of exposure and strain, age, gender and species of animals used across multiple studies but also owing to its ability to induce the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This article describes the effect of acute, chronic, developmental and adulthood exposures to cypermethrin in experimental animals. The article sheds light on cypermethrin-induced changes in the central nervous system, including its contribution in the onset of specific features, which are associated with the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Resemblances and dissimilarities of cypermethrin-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration with sporadic and chemicals-induced disease models along with its advantages and pitfalls are also discussed.

Malignant glioma is the most common and destructive form of primary brain tumor. Along with surgery and radiation, chemotherapy remains as the major treatment modality. The emergence of drug resistance, however, often leads to a therapeutic failure in the treatment of glioma, precluding long-term survival of the patients. A proteomic approach has recently been adapted for the mechanistic analysis of glioma drug resistance. The proteomic analysis of drug-resistant glioma led to the discovery of novel biomarkers that can be used for the prognosis of glioma as well as for monitoring the drug response or resistance of glioma. These proteomics-based biomarkers can also be a druggable target that one can exploit for successful glioma chemotherapy. In this review, recent reports on proteomic analysis of glioma from the perspective of chemoresistance are discussed with a focus on the proteome profiles of glioma cells that are resistant to the alkylating agent, 1, 3-bis (2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU), as a prime example. Among numerous proteins that were up- or down-regulated in drug-resistant glioma cells, lipocalin 2 (LCN2) and integrin β3 (ITGB3) were identified as key proteins that determine the survival and death of glioma cells. LCN2, ITGB3, and other proteins identified by proteomic analysis could be utilized to overcome glioma chemoresistance.

Induced therapeutic hypothermia is the one of the most effective tools against brain injury and inflammation. Even though its beneficial effects are well known, there are a lot of pitfalls to overcome, since the potential adverse effects of systemic hypothermia are still troublesome. Without the knowledge of the precise mechanisms of hypothermia, it will be difficult to tackle the application of hypothermia in clinical fields. Better understanding of the characteristics and modes of hypothermic actions may further extend the usage of hypothermia by developing novel drugs based on the hypothermic mechanisms or by combining hypothermia with other therapeutic modalities such as neuroprotective drugs. In this review, we describe the potential therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs, with a focus on signal pathways, gene expression, and structural changes of cells. Theapeutic hypothermia has been shown to attenuate neuroinflammation by reducing the production of reactive oxygen species and proinflammatory mediators in the central nervous system. Along with the mechanism-based drug targets, applications of therapeutic hypothermia in combination with drug treatment will also be discussed in this review.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is rarely associated with schizophrenia, whereas 20 to 30% of schizophrenic patients, suffer from comorbid obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS). So far no single pathogenetic theory convincingly explained this fact suggesting heterogeneous subgroups. Based on long-term case observations, one hypothesis assumes that second-onset OCS in the course of schizophrenia might be a side effect of second generation antipsychotics (SGA), most importantly clozapine (CLZ). This review summarizes the supporting epidemiological and pharmacological evidence: Estimations on prevalence of OCS increase in more recent cross-sectional studies and in later disease stages. Longitudinal observations report the de novo-onset of OCS under clozapine treatment. This association has not been reported with first generation antipsychotics (FGA) or SGAs with mainly dopaminergic mode of action. Finally, significant correlations of OCS-severity with duration of treatment, dose and serum levels suggest clozapine-induced OCS. However, supposed causal interactions need further verifications. It is also unclear, which neurobiological mechanisms might underlie the pathogenetic process. Detailed genotypic and phenotypic characterizations of schizophrenics with comorbid OCS regarding neurocognitive functioning and activation in sensitive tasks of functional magnetic imaging are needed. Multimodal large-scaled prospective studies are necessary to define patients at risk for second-onset OCS and to improve early detection and therapeutic interventions.