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Depression; anxiety

Glucocorticoid receptor (GCCR); disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1)

Mouse studies suggest blocking the glucocorticoid receptor in the brain could help treat adult-onset neuropsychiatric disorders triggered by adolescent stress. In adolescent transgenic mice expressing depression-associated DISC1 and subjected to three weeks of isolation stress, a small molecule GCCR antagonist decreased depressive-like social behavior compared with vehicle control. The behavioral improvements were associated with normalized DNA methylation of the promoter of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; TYH), which is part of the biosynthetic pathway of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Next steps include looking for additional epigenetic modifications that may occur following prolonged adolescent stress (see Stressing out over depression and anxiety, page 5).

SciBX 6(6); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.144
Published online Feb. 14, 2013

Unpatented; unavailable for licensing

Niwa, N. et al. Science; published online Jan. 18, 2013;
Contact: Akira Sawa, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
Contact: Toshitaka Nabeshima, Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan