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BJP article: Brain peptide research may lead to promising new treatments for mental illnesses

Published: 07 Sep 2016 in Journal news

Recent research points to the importance of a molecule called relaxin-3 in the brain, with effects on various processes and behaviors such as mood, stress, and cognition. Because these are often aberrant in mental illnesses, investigators are studying the potential of relaxin-3-based interventions to treat depression, anxiety, and other conditions.

A new review looks at where such research stands and what additional studies are necessary.

“There is a need for new and better drugs for mental illnesses. An accumulation of recent research points to potential that relaxin-3 and its receptor RXFP3 may be a new target for treatment of these disorders,” said Dr. Gavin Dawe, senior author of the British Journal of Pharmacology review. “Developments in stapled peptide technology—whereby peptides are chemically stabilized by crosslinking with small molecules—are now opening prospects for selectively targeting RXFP3 to develop a new class of drugs for mental illnesses.”

Access the paper.