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Volume 10, Pages 713-726
Review Article

New Therapeutic Targets for Mood Disorders

1Experimental Therapeutics, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
2Institute and Department of Psychiatry, LIM-27, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Received 11 December 2009; Revised 16 March 2010; Accepted 18 March 2010

Academic Editor: Sergi Ferre

Copyright © 2010 Rodrigo Machado-Vieira et al.


Existing pharmacological treatments for bipolar disorder (BPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) are often insufficient for many patients. Here we describe a number of targets/compounds that clinical and preclinical studies suggest could result in putative novel treatments for mood disorders. These include: (1) glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) and protein kinase C (PKC), (2) the purinergic system, (3) histone deacetylases (HDACs), (4) the melatonergic system, (5) the tachykinin neuropeptides system, (6) the glutamatergic system, and (7) oxidative stress and bioenergetics. The paper reviews data on new compounds that have shown antimanic or antidepressant effects in subjects with mood disorders, or similar effects in preclinical animal models. Overall, an improved understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of mood disorders is critical in order to develop targeted treatments that are more effective, act more rapidly, and are better tolerated than currently available therapies.