HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 25, No. 04, April 2021 – The Evolution of Medicine – Exploring the Contributions of Sony’s Technology       » Potential Target and Neural Circuitry for Psychiatric Conditions       » Study Provides Insight to Cause of Coral Necrotic Death       » Combination of X-Rays and AI for Quicker Diagnosis of COVID-19       » Clinical Study Achieves Goals in Diagnosing Rare Childhood Disorders       » Portable Device to Detect Plant Stress      
Vol 25, No. 03, March 2021   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
EYE ON CHINA
Potential Target and Neural Circuitry for Psychiatric Conditions
Research by Nanjing University demonstrated a common neural circuit shared between psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which could be possible therapeutic targets.

Anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are disabling psychiatric conditions and the major contributors to global burden of nonfatal illness. The lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders in adults under 60 years ranged from approximately 30 to 35 percent, whereas the lifetime prevalence of in the general population is estimated at 2 to 3 percent for full OCD but over 25 percent for OCD symptoms. OCD is characterized by uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (called obsessions) and/or ritualized, repetitive behaviours (compulsions) that are aimed at getting rid of the obsessions and seeking relief from the anxiety caused by obsessions, indicating a close correlation between anxiety and OCD. Indeed, anxiety disorders have been reported epidemiologically as the most frequent comorbid conditions with OCD. Therefore, common pathologies may be present in anxiety disorders and OCD, and elucidation of the shared neural substrates will lead to greater insight into their pathophysiology and treatment.

In a study recently published in PNAS, Dr Zhu Jing-Ning's group in Nanjing University reports that a glutamatergic neuronal circuitry from the prelimbic prefrontal cortex (PrL) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core is responsible for co-occurrence of anxiety- and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviors. Notably, activation of the histamine presynaptic H3 heteroreceptor localized in the PrL-NAc glutamatergic terminals ameliorates stress-induced anxiety and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviours.

The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a well-known brain structure in the basal ganglia limbic loop, which is critical for the emotional and motivational regulation. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) targeting the NAc core has been found to improve obsessive-compulsive symptoms and decrease ratings of anxiety in patients suffering from treatment-resistant OCD or depression. In previous studies, Jing-Ning Zhu's group has reported that DBS can induce an increase in histamine release in the subthalamic nucleus to alleviate Parkinsonian motor deficits. Here, they create a new transgenic rat strain expressing Cre recombinase in the histamine-producing neurons, restrictedly localized in the tuberomammillary nucleus of the hypothalamus, and find that selective optogenetic activation of histaminergic afferent inputs in the NAc core remarkably improves anxiety as well as obsessive-compulsive-like behaviours induced by restraint stress. The amelioration effects of histamine on anxiety and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviours are mediated by the suppression of glutamatergic rather than GABAercigc transmission in the NAc core via presynaptic H3 heteroreceptors. Although the authors reveal that histamine H3 presynaptic receptor is expressed and localized in the glutamatergic terminals in NAc core from the PrL, basolateral amygdala, and ventral hippocampus, only the PrL-NAc pathway is the circuit mediating the co-occurrence of anxiety- and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviours. Chemogenetic inhibition of the PrL-NAc glutamatergic circuit significantly prevents the anxiogenic and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviours induced by acute restraint stress. Interestingly, microinjection of histamine or selective H3 receptor agonist RAMH locally into the NAc core alleviates both anxiety- and obsessive-compulsive-like phenotypes induced by optogenetic activation of PrL-NAc glutamatergic circuit.

Effective pharmacological interventions for the comorbidity of anxiety and OCD are still lacking. Presynaptic histamine H3 receptor, selectively acting on glutamatergic neurotransmission, may provide a potential target for the treatment of anxiety and OCD. Notably, several agonists for H3 receptor, including RAMH and its prodrugs, have entered clinical trials and been proved safe. Therefore, developing strategies, such as pharmacological and/or DBS therapy, for targeting H3 receptor/histaminergic afferents in the NAc core or PrL-NAc glutamatergic circuit may pave a new path for clinical treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Commemorating World Health Day with Viatris
news Entire industrial chain resources of advanced medical equipment are lining up at Medtec China 2021
news CPhI & P-MEC China gives a glimpse of the success returning pharma events will deliver in 2021
news Highlights from the E&L China 2020 Conference
SPOTLIGHT  

MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Contribute to APBN
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Deborah Seah
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2021 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy