L Deutschenbaur, J Beck, A Kiyhankhadiv, M Mühlhauser, S Borgwardt, M Walter, G Hasler, D Sollberger and UE Lang,
Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, Jan 4 2016
Major depression is a common, recurrent mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. Recently, a unique fast neuroprotective and antidepressant treatment effect has been observed by ketamine, which acts via the glutamatergic system. Hence, a steady accumulation of evidence supporting a role for the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter (EAA) glutamate in the treatment of depression has been observed in the last years. Emerging evidence indicates that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonists and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) agonists have antidepressant properties. Indeed, treatment with NMDA receptor antagonists has shown the ability to sprout new synaptic connections and reverse stress-induced neuronal changes. Based on glutamatergic signaling, a number of therapeutic drugs might gain interest in the future. Several compounds such as ketamine, memantine, amantadine, tianeptine, pioglitazone, riluzole, lamotrigine, AZD6765, magnesium, zinc, guanosine, adenosine aniracetam, traxoprodil (CP-101,606), MK-0657, GLYX-13, NRX-1047, Ro25-6981, LY392098, LY341495, D-cycloserine, D-serine, dextromethorphan, sarcosine, scopolamine, pomaglumetad methionil, LY2140023, LY404039, MGS0039, MPEP, 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid, all of which target this system, have already been brought up, some of them recently. Drugs targeting the glutamatergic system might open up a promising new territory for the development of drugs to meet the needs of patients with major depression.