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5-HT6 Receptor Antagonists: Potential Efficacy for the Treatment of Cognitive Impairment in Schizophrenia

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 26 ]

Author(s):

Natasja M.W.J. de Bruin and Chris G Kruse   Pages 3739 - 3759 ( 21 )

Abstract:


5-hydroxytryptamine6 receptor (5-HT6R) antagonists have shown efficacy in animal models for cognitive impairment in multiple cognitive domains relevant for schizophrenia. Improvements were found with 5-HT6R antagonists in preclinical tests for episodic memory, social cognition, executive function, working memory and several other tests for both learning and memory. In contrast, there is little evidence for efficacy on attention. It will be interesting to further investigate 5-HT6R antagonists in neurodevelopmental animal models which are based on prenatal exposure to specific environmental insults, and are characterized by a high level of face, construct and predictive validity for cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia. It is also important to do more add-on preclinical studies of 5-HT6 antagonists with antipsychotics. Possible mechanisms of action to improve cognition have been described. 5-HT6R antagonists decrease GABA release and GABAergic interneuron excitability, which subsequently disinhibits glutamate and/or acetylcholine release and results in enhancement of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, cognition could be improved by 5-HT6R antagonists, because these compounds increase the number of NCAM PSA-immunoreactive neurons in the dendate gyrus, inhibit mTOR and Fyn-tyrosine kinase and interact with DARPP-32. Interestingly, there is increasing preclinical evidence that could support additional benefits of 5-HT6R ligandson comorbid conditions in schizophrenia such as drug abuse, depression, anxiety, obesity andantipsychotic-induced EPS. Finally, we briefly give an overview of the 5-HT6R compounds that are currently in clinical development for the treatment of cognitive impairment in both schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords:

5-Hydroxytryptamine6 receptor (5-HT6R), Cognition, Schizophrenia, Comorbidities, Animal models, Clinical development.

Affiliation:

Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), Project Group Translational Medicine & Pharmacology (TMP), c/o Pharmazentrum Frankfurt/ZAFES, Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.



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