Antidepressant effects of inhibitors
of cAMP phosphodiesterase (PDE4)

by
O'Donnell JM, Zhang HT.
Department of Pharmacology,
University of Tennessee Health Science Center,
Memphis, TN 38163, USA.
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Mar;25(3):158-63


ABSTRACT

Despite initial promise, the development of type 4 phosphodiesterase (PDE4) inhibitors as antidepressants has not advanced significantly. This is due to an incomplete understanding of the functional importance of PDE4 subtypes and high-affinity and low-affinity inhibitor-binding conformers. However, recent developments have rekindled interest in the therapeutic potential of PDE4 inhibitors. First, PDE4 has been shown to be involved in cAMP signaling pathways that are affected by antidepressants. Second, data obtained using mouse knockout lines indicate that PDE4D and PDE4B mediate antidepressant effects. Third, it appears that the interaction of inhibitors with the high-affinity binding conformer of PDE4 is particularly important for antidepressant efficacy. These developments highlight the difficulties of dissociating the actions of PDE4 inhibitors and provide a guide for future research.
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