The role of brain gaseous neurotransmitters in anxiety

Pałasz, A. and Menezes, I.C. and Worthington, J.J. (2021) The role of brain gaseous neurotransmitters in anxiety. Pharmacological reports : PR, 73. 357–371. ISSN 1734-1140

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Although anxiety is perhaps one of the most significant current medical and social problems, the neurochemical mechanistic background of this common condition remains to be fully understood. Multifunctional regulatory gasotransmitters are novel, atypical inorganic factors of the brain that are involved in the mechanisms of anxiety responses. Nitric oxide (NO) signaling shows ambiguous action in animal models of anxiety, while NO donors exert anxiogenic or anxiolytic effect depending on their chemical structure, dose, treatment schedule and gas release rapidity. The majority of NO synthase inhibitors act as a relatively potent axiolytic agents, while hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon monoxide (CO) delivered experimentally in the form of “slow” or “fast” releasing donors have recently been considered as anxiolytic neurotransmitters. In this comprehensive review we critically summarize the literature regarding the intriguing roles of NO, H2S and CO in the neuromolecular mechanisms of anxiety in the context of their putative, yet promising therapeutic application. A possible mechanism of gasotransmitter action at the level of anxiety-related synaptic transmission is also presented. Brain gasesous neuromediators urgently require further wide ranging studies to clarify their potential value for the current neuropharmacology of anxiety disorders.

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Journal Article
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Pharmacological reports : PR
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25 Mar 2021 12:50
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:05