Research press release


Nature Communications

Pharmacology: Keep calm and stay awake


哺乳類の体内時計は、さまざまな遺伝的成分と分子成分によって構成されており、その生理と行動において重要な役割を果たしている。例えば、交代勤務や薬物、遺伝的変異などによって体内時計が乱されると、心身の健康が損なわれる場合がある。今回、Thomas Burrisたちは、哺乳類の体内時計の特定の成分と相互作用する分子をマウスに投与して、覚醒時間の延長、睡眠の抑制、不安様行動の減少が実現される過程を明らかにした。


A synthetic molecule that targets the innate body clock can help mice to stay awake and keep calm, reports a paper in Nature Communications this week. The authors hope that this compound might lead to the development of a new class of drugs for the treatment of anxiety, sleep disorders and addiction.

The mammalian body clock, with its various genetic and molecular components, plays a key role in physiology and behaviour. When the clock is disrupted - for example through shift work, drugs or genetic mutation - physical and mental health may suffer. Thomas Burris and colleagues now show how treating mice with a molecule that interacts with a specific component of the mammalian clock can increase wakefulness, suppress sleep and reduce anxiety-like behaviour.

The molecule, called SR9011, is unique because existing anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines, reduce anxiety but cause drowsiness. This would be the first anti-anxiety drug not to cause sleepiness and, based on rodent behavioural studies, it appears to have a lower potential for abuse than benzodiazepines. The molecule also suppresses reward seeking behaviour in mice so may prove useful in the treatment of addiction, however further research is necessary to determine its effect in humans.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms6759

「Nature 関連誌注目のハイライト」は、ネイチャー広報部門が報道関係者向けに作成したリリースを翻訳したものです。より正確かつ詳細な情報が必要な場合には、必ず原著論文をご覧ください。

メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週最新のNature 関連誌のハイライトを皆様にお届けいたします。