Targeting Serotonin 1A Receptors to Treat Neuronal Hyperexcitability and Neuroanatomical Perturbations in Fmr1 Knockout Mice
Dr. Canal has discovered a promising treatment approach for Fragile X syndrome: new compounds which specifically and potently boost serotonin in the brain. The target is the brain's serotonin 1A receptor.
by Clinton Canal
In Fragile X syndrome (FXS) lack of FMRP causes an overall increase in brain activity. We have found evidence that specifically activating serotonin 1A receptors may reduce this excess brain activity, to treat FXS.
Results from our experiments with Fragile X mice support this hypothesis. We have shown that FXS mouse has alterations in its brain serotonin 1A receptors. We have also found that stimulating the serotonin 1A receptors prevents seizures in these mice.
With this grant from FRAXA we will use drugs to target (boost) serotonin 1A receptors, to treat FXS in mice. Currently there are available drugs which target serotonin receptors in general, but not the 1A subtype alone. We hope that results from this study will guide the development or repurposing of medications targeting serotonin 1A receptors for FXS.