Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

Keeping Calm

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Sci. Signal.  28 Jul 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 81, pp. ec255
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.281ec255

Benzodiazepines are the most prescribed anxiolytics and are used by a broad population. However, benzodiazepines can cause unwanted side effects, including sedation, development of tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms after long-term administration. Rupprecht et al. now find that a translocator protein (18 kD) ligand, XBD173, is a fast-acting anxiolytic agent, both in animals and humans, which lacks the unwanted side effects of benzodiazepines and provides a promising target for novel clinically effective anxiolytic drugs.

R. Rupprecht, G. Rammes, D. Eser, T. C. Baghai, C. Schüle, C. Nothdurfter, T. Troxler, C. Gentsch, H. O. Kalkman, F. Chaperon, V. Uzunov, K. H. McAllister, V. Bertaina-Anglade, C. Drieu La Rochelle, D. Tuerck, A. Floesser, B. Kiese, M. Schumacher, R. Landgraf, F. Holsboer, K. Kucher, Translocator protein (18 kD) as target for anxiolytics without benzodiazepine-like side effects. Science 325, 490–493 (2009).[Abstract] [Full Text]