Effects of sigma receptor ligands on psychiatric disorders

Hiroyuki Kamei, Yukihiro Noda, Toshitaka Nabeshima, Kiyofumi Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It has recently been suggested that sigma receptors are involved in psychiatric disorders. Sigma1 receptor antagonists are effective in animal models of positive symptoms, cognitive deficit and disruption of prepulse inhibition in schizophrenia. They also inhibit the development and expression of the conditioned place preference induced by cocaine. On the other hand, sigma1 receptor agonists reduce the immobility time in the forced swimming and tail suspension tests. Furthermore, sigma1 receptor agonists attenuate the conditioned fear stress (CFS) response (which is not attenuated by typical anxiolytics or antidepressants) in rodents. The attenuating effects are mediated through sigma1 receptors, which are closely related to the mesolimbic dopaminergic systems. Sigma1 receptor agonists also have anti-amnesic effects in various experimental models. Neurosteroids such as dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and pregnenolone sulfate attenuate the CFS response and have anti-amnesic effects, the effects being mediated via sigma1 receptors. These findings suggest that sigma receptors are novel potential targets for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, drug abuse, depression and dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalJapanese Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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