Published: 30 January, 2017 | Volume 1 - Issue 1 | Pages: 001-006
Depression is a psychiatric disease resulting mainly by dysfunction of serotoninergic and monoaminergic neurotransmission in central nervous system (CNS). Due to the multifaceted nature of depression and our limited understanding on its etiology, depression is difficult to be treated with currently available pharmaceuticals. Then, new therapeutic strategies for depression have been proposed. Since 1975, several clinical studies have reported that L-type Ca2+ channel blockers (CCBs), used in anti-hypertensive therapy, produce increase of plasma catecholamine levels and tachycardia, typical symptoms of sympathetic hyperactivity. Despite these adverse effects of CCBs have been initially attributed to adjust reflex of arterial pressure, during almost four decades these enigmatic phenomena remained unclear. In 2013, we discovered that this paradoxical sympathetic hyperactivity produced by CCBs results from the increase of catecholamines release from sympathetic nerves, and adrenal chromaffin cells, due to its modulatory action on the interaction between intracellular signaling pathways mediated by Ca2+ and cAMP (Ca2+/cAMP signalling interaction). Then, the pharmacological modulation of this interaction by combined use of L-type CCBs, and cAMP-enhancer compounds, could be a more efficient (and safer) therapeutic strategy to produce increase of serotoninergic and monoaminergic neurotransmission in the CNS due to enhance of serotonin and monoamines release, thus attenuating clinical symptoms of depression in humans.
Ca2+/cAMP signaling interaction; serotoninergic neurotransmission; Monoaminergic neurotransmission; Depression