[Melatoninergic receptor agonists and antagonists: therapeutic perspectives].


The chronobiotic neurohormone melatonin, synthetized in the pineal gland during darkness periods governs the circadian and seasonal biological rhythms. Physiologically, melatonin regulates the sleep/activity alternance, together with the circadian cycle of body temperature and cortisol secretion, and influences various immune, endocrine and metabolic functions. Dysfunction of the endogenous melatonin secretion is associated with mood and behavioral disorders including body weight. Patients with severe depression exhibit desynchronized and reduced melatonin secretion, in parallel with marked sleep disturbances whereas exogenous melatonin administration and antidepressive drugs restore melatonin secretion. A dysregulated melatonin secretion is also observed in obese subjects. Implication of melatonin in these disorders stimulated the search for melatonin analogues with enhanced antidepressive and body weight control effects. The melatoninergic agonist S 20098, or agomelatin, disclosed a potent antidepressive and anxiolytic activity in preclinical studies, which was confirmed in clinical trials in patients with major depression. The antagonist S 20928 was shown to limit seasonal weight gain in an hibernating rodent model. Thus, development of melatoninergic agonists and antagonists appear as an innovative approach in the treatment of depression and obesity, two major public health problems.

Cite this paper

@article{GuardiolaLematre2007MelatoninergicRA, title={[Melatoninergic receptor agonists and antagonists: therapeutic perspectives].}, author={B{\'e}atrice Guardiola-Lema{\^i}tre}, journal={Journal de la Société de biologie}, year={2007}, volume={201 1}, pages={105-13} }