Novel Non-Monoaminergic Antidepressants: Focus on Neuropeptides
Pp. 242-255 (14)
Donatella Marazziti, Federico Mucci, Stefano Baroni and Liliana Dell`Osso
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common illness representing a social
problem worldwide, that is predicted to become the second cause of disability in 2020
by the World Health Organization (WHO), with a heavy economic burden for the
The discovery of the first-generation antidepressants, i.e., monoamine oxidase inhibitors
(MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), followed by selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), dual-acting serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
(SNRIs) and a few others, improved significantly the treatment and the prognosis of
MDD, besides promoting the investigation of its possible biological mechanisms.
However, the long latency of therapeutic effect, the presence of relevant side effects
and the treatment’s resistance are still major problems in MDD management. For those
reasons, the pharmacological treatment of MDD is still far from being satisfactory,
without any significant paradigm shifts in the psychopharmacology of MDD occurring
in the last decades. More recently, other mechanisms, besides monoamines’
modulation, have been explored in the attempt to discover novel and effective
antidepressants. To date, a number of novel compounds acting on neuropeptide
receptors have been developed and tested in both animals and humans with different
results. In this chapter, we will provide a short overview of the main neuropeptides,
from their biochemical and molecular characteristics to preclinical and clinical
evidence in MDD.
Antidepresants, Depresion, Galarin, Neuropeptide, Neuropeptide Y,
Oxytocin, Substance P, Vasopression.
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, via Roma, 67, I-56100 Pisa, Italy.