Hippocampal neuropeptide-glutamate-serotonin reciprocal interactions, relevance for limbic epilepsy and depression.

Project Details


Epilepsy remains a poorly treated and major neurological disorder. Over 1 million patients in the U.S. alone have uncontrolled seizures with complex-partial seizures from temporal or frontal origin being particularly intractable. There is thus a real need for the search of innovative anti-epileptic drugs with original mechanisms of action and few side effects. Some neuropeptides and peptide receptor antagonists might fulfil these 2 criteria and therefore we would like to investigate the anticonvulsive potential of a few well-chosen neuropeptides and peptide ligands. Peptide ligands exert “modulatory” effects on the classical neurotransmitter systems and are preferentially released under pathological conditions. It is presumed that peptides do not directly interfere with basal fast synaptic transmission, which might result in a lack of side effects. Medically intractable limbic epilepsy is further frequently accompanied by psychiatric disturbances, such as depression and anxiety. Despite the clinical relevance, there are few researchers searching for molecules and/or strategies with both anticonvulsant and antidepressant activities. Therefore we would like to investigate possible interactions of a few subtype-selective glutamate receptor ligands and peptide receptor ligands with anticonvulsant potential with the monoaminergic neurotransmitters. It is indeed generally accepted that alterations in serotoninergic and noradrenergic systems play a key role in the pathology of depressions and depressive symptoms. Promising molecules can in a later stage be tested in animal models for limbic epilepsy and depression.
Effective start/end date1/01/0331/12/06


  • pharmacology

Flemish discipline codes

  • Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and allied sciences
  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences