The role of adenosine receptors in mood and anxiety disorders

Dietrich van Calker*, Knut Biber, Katharina Domschke, Tsvetan Serchov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adenosine receptor subtypes, first described 40 years ago, are known to regulate diverse biological functions and have a role in various conditions, such as cerebral and cardiac ischemia, immune and inflammatory disorders and cancer. In the brain, they limit potentially dangerous over excitation, but also regulate mechanisms essential in sleep and psychiatric disorders. In this review, we discuss the role of adenosine receptors in mood and anxiety disorders. Activation of A(2A) receptors is associated with increased depression-like symptoms, while increased A(1) receptors signaling elicits rapid antidepressant effects. Indeed, several lines of evidence demonstrate that the therapeutic effects of different non-pharmacological treatments of depression, like sleep deprivation and electroconvulsive therapy are mediated by A(1) receptor up-regulation or activation. In addition, A(1) receptors may also play a role in the antidepressant effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and deep brain stimulation. As a potential downstream mechanism, which facilitates the antidepressant effects of A(1) receptors, we propose a crosstalk between adenosinergic and glutamatergic systems mediated via synaptic plasticity protein Homer1a and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors. Moreover, adenosine receptors are also involved in the control of circadian rhythms, sleep homeostasis and some neuro-immunological mechanisms, all of them implicated in mood regulation. Antagonists of adenosine receptors such as caffeine have general anxiogenic effects. In particular, A(2A) receptors appear to have an important role in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Taken together, the results discussed here indicate that the adenosinergic system is involved in both the etiology and the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9-Sep-2019

Keywords

  • circadian rhythm
  • deep brain stimulation
  • electroconvulsive therapy
  • sleep deprivation
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • DEEP BRAIN-STIMULATION
  • TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION
  • ADD-ON TREATMENT
  • VENTRAL CAPSULE/VENTRAL STRIATUM
  • ELECTROCONVULSIVE-THERAPY ECT
  • ADORA2A GENE VARIATION
  • NECROSIS-FACTOR-ALPHA
  • URIC-ACID LEVELS
  • A(2A) RECEPTORS
  • SLEEP-DEPRIVATION

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