Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a complex psychiatric disorder with severe impact on patient's livelihood. In the last years, the importance of neuropeptides in SCZ and other CNS disorders has been recognized, mainly due to their ability to modulate the signaling of classical monoaminergic neurotransmitters as dopamine. In addition, a class of enzymes coined as oligopeptidases are able to cleave several of these neuropeptides, and their potential implication in SCZ was also demonstrated. Interestingly, these enzymes are able to play roles as modulators of neuropeptidergic systems, and they were also implicated in neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth, neuron migration, and therefore, in neurodevelopment and brain formation. Altered activity of oligopeptidases in SCZ was described only more recently, suggesting their possible utility as biomarkers for mental disorders diagnosis or treatment response. We provide here an updated and comprehensive review on neuropeptides and oligopeptidases involved in mental disorders, aiming to attract the attention of physicians to the potential of targeting this system for improving the therapy and for understanding the neurobiology underlying mental disorders as SCZ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience