X-Message-Number: 28647
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 21:07:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject: could pantethine delay fly aging?

[Drosophila aging is known to be driven primarily by motor neuron
degeneration. Although the mechanism behind this degeneration is unknown,
there is some reason to suppose that pantethine might be able to slow
this down via upregulation of BDNF. Pantethine is being investigated in
run #237 of my fly longevity experiments.]

Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(5):1185-8. Epub 2006 Jun 22.
Cysteamine-related agents could be potential antidepressants through
increasing central BDNF levels.
  Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental disease, but with an
unknown etiology. Antidepressants are the main biological treatment for
MDD. However, current antidepressive agents have a slow onset of effect
and a substantial proportion of MDD patients do not clinically improve,
despite maximal medication. Thus, the exploration for new antidepressants
with novel strategies may help to develop faster and more effective
antidepressant agents. Studies in the recent decades have demonstrated
that antidepressants increase central brain-derived neurotrophic factor
(BDNF) levels and activating the BDNF-signaling pathway may play an
important role in their therapeutic mechanism. Cysteamine is a natural
product of cells and constitutes the terminal region of the CoA
molecule. Recent work has found that cysteamine and a related agent,
cystamine, have neuroprotective effects in Huntington's disease (HD) mice,
through enhancing central BDNF levels. Furthermore, cystamine or
cysteamine injection could increase serum BDNF levels in wild-type mice
as well as HD mice. Since activation of the BDNF-dependent pathway plays
an important role in the mechanism of antidepressant therapeutic action,
cystamine or its derivatives could have potential antidepressant
therapeutic effects. Among these agents, pantethine may be one of the
most promising agents. It is a naturally occurring compound which can be
administered orally with negligible side effects, and is metabolized to
cysteamine. Further evaluation of the therapeutic and toxic effects of
these cysteamine-related antidepressant agents in MDD animal models is
needed before any clinical application.

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