Indexed on: 10 Nov '07Published on: 10 Nov '07Published in: Drug news & perspectives
Glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3beta is recognized as a ubiquitous multifunctional enzyme involved in the modulation of many aspects of neuronal function. Inhibitory control of GSK-3beta has been identified to be crucial for the phosphoinositide 3'-kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (Akt)-mediated cell survival. Several lines of evidence converge in implicating abnormal GSK-3beta activity in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Preclinical evidence showing that both typical and atypical antipsychotics can indirectly inhibit the activity of GSK-3beta, has pointed to GSK-3beta as a possible therapeutic target for schizophrenia. It is well known that GSK-3beta can be indirectly inhibited via regulation of several intracellular signaling cascades, including the canonical Wnt, Reelin and tyrosine kinase receptor (Trk)-PI3K-Akt. Recently, direct inhibition of GSK-3beta has emerged as a possible option in the pharmacotherapy of several neuropsychiatric disorders. There is, however, a number of issues that need to be considered regarding therapeutic utility of GSK-3beta inhibitors. This article reviews the evidence supporting the possible role of aberrant GSK-3beta in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and thus suggesting GSK-3beta to be a potential therapeutic target for this disorder.