Targeting brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to treat major depression and co-morbid alcohol or nicotine addiction

Shafiqur Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. There is now compelling evidence that the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in MDD and co-morbid alcohol or nicotine addiction. As a result, there has been growing interest for the treatment of MDD and co-morbid alcohol or nicotine use disorder by targeting nAChRs. Emerging evidence suggests that specific ligands that act at nAChRs significantly reduce depression-like behaviors in preclinical models that mimic MDD and co-morbid alcohol or nicotine use disorder. In this review, the pharmacological efficacy of nAChR ligands, such as mecamylamine, lobeline, cytisine, sazetidine-A, and others will be discussed. Overall, findings from preclinical and clinical studies included here suggest that the nAChR ligands may be of potential benefit in reducing MDD symptoms and that may aid in the prevention and treatment of MDD and co-morbid alcohol or nicotine use disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-653
Number of pages7
JournalCNS and Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Antidepressant
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug addiction
  • Drug discovery
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Nicotine use disorder
  • Nicotinic receptor

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