Lack of interaction between two neuronal receptors is a determining factor in schizophrenia


Professor Francisco Ciruela, member of the the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the UBNeuro and the IDIBELL.

Professor Francisco Ciruela, member of the the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the UBNeuro and the IDIBELL.

Schizophrenia is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder which is presented through hallucinations, delusions and behavioural and motor disorders. Historically, this disease was associated with an overactivation of dopaminergic neuronal circuits, a process that could be related to a decrease of adenosinergic transmission (its inhibitory pathway in our brain), according to a recent hypothesis.

A team from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona (UBNeuro) and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), the led by Professor Francisco Ciruela, has detected in animal models and postmorten samples of patients with schizophrenia a decrease in the interaction between dopamine and adenosine receptors. The study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, states that the interaction of both receptors involves the inhibition of the dopaminergic pathway, which is unusually active in this disorder. Moreover, the results show that this alteration is independent from the levels of expression in both receptors. “

The results propose the lack of interaction between neuronal receptors to explain the imbalance observed in schizophrenia. These findings suggest drugs that promote the interaction between both receptors would be a good strategy in the management of schizophrenia”, notes Francisco Ciruela, professor at the Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the UB.

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