Stress and depression are often closely related. New research now shows that KNT-127, a known antidepressant, also reduces stress, provides insight into the physiological processes underlying depression, and may be a potential new treatment. I’m here.
Psychological stress is a major contributor to mental illnesses such as depression, a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. However, the relationship between psychological stress and depression is unknown.
Previous studies on the relationship between stress and mental health have used animal models to examine the effects of physical stress on depression rather than analyzing psychological stress. A new study from Japan used a depression mouse model and focused only on animals repeatedly exposed to psychological stress.
For their study, researchers at the Tokyo University of Science tested the efficacy of KNT-127, a delta opioid agonist, in treating depression in mice.
In addition to playing a central role in pain management, the opioid system regulates the body’s stress response. Delta opioid receptors (DOPs) in the brain and nervous system have long been known to have prominent features in emotional processing. Genetic studies have shown that knocking out the gene encoding DOP results in increased anxiety-related responses and depression-like behavior.
DOP agonists block the action of delta opioid receptors. Previous studies have demonstrated that the DOP agonist KNT-127 is an effective antidepressant with fewer side effects than existing antidepressants.
“Delta opioid receptor (DOP) agonists [have a] It works quickly and has a lower risk of side effects compared to existing drugs,” said Akiyoshi Saito, the study’s lead author. “Therefore, we have committed ourselves to clinical development as a new treatment strategy for depression.”
The purpose of this study was to investigate how KNT-127 affects key regions of the brain associated with depression, and to investigate nerve cells (neurons) and brain inflammation (neuroinflammation) thought to be associated with depression. ) was to understand the impact on
Using a depression mouse model, researchers exposed 5-week-old male mice to extreme psychological stress for 10 minutes a day for 10 days. KNT-127 was administered to mice during the stressful event and her 28 days after the stress period to test its efficacy. Administering KNT-127 during a stressful event allowed researchers to test the drug’s effects on stress, and administering KNT-127 afterwards tested its effects on depression.
The researchers found that administration of KNT-127 during and after stress significantly improved social interactions in mice and reduced the levels of corticosterone that mice produced in response to stress. bottom. They also found that KNT-127 administered during stress delayed neuronal cell death and reduced neuroinflammation.
According to the researchers, the results provide new insight into the link between DOP and depression. And they suggest that KNT-127 is an effective treatment to reduce both stress and depression, which may ultimately benefit depressed patients.
“People with depression often face situations where they cannot avoid stressful environments, even during treatment,” Saito said. “Therefore, we believe that additional anti-stress effects during treatment have important clinical implications.
Based on their findings, researchers hope that KNT-127 or other delta opioid agonists will be used to develop new treatments for depression.
“If the clinical development of DOP agonists is successful, we expect that future treatment options for depression will greatly expand,” Saito said.
The study was published in a journal neuropharmacology.
Source: Tokyo University of Science