News from CEXS-UPF
A scientific team led by Andrés Ozaita, principal investigator of the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, in collaboration with researchers from the Basque Country University, has studied rimonabant as a possible drug to treat fragile X syndrome obtaining excellent results in mice at doses far from the potential adverse effects.
Many of the effects linked to fragile X syndrome, as cognitive problems or disruption of neuronal plasticity, depend on the endocannabinoid system. For this reason, Ozaita's team has decided to use rimonabant, a molecule that blocks the main recipient of the endocannabinoid system: CB1. This is an existing drug that was developed to treat obesity. Unfortunately, rimonabant had to be withdrawn from the market due to unwanted side effects such as depression or anxiety. These side effects, however, are dependent on the drug dose and the current study is based on rimonabant doses 30 times lower compared to those showing effects against obesity, preventing the adverse effects at high doses.
According to the results of this study, part of the doctoral thesis of Maria Gomis-González, treatment with low doses of rimonabant prevents failure of synaptic plasticity model FXS mice correlating with cognitive improvement.
Maria Gomis-González, Arnau Busquets-Garcia, Carlos Matute, Rafael Maldonado, Susana Mato, Andrés Ozaita. Possible Therapeutic Doses of Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor Antagonist Reverses Key Alterations in Fragile X Syndrome Mouse Model. Genes (Basel). 2016 Aug doi: 10.3390/genes7090056