First proneural cells bank in Spain for the study of mental illnesses
Proneural cells enable biochemical information to be obtained from the human brain without the need for physical access to it
Heteromers, a new molecular-level marker of mental disorders
The usefulness of this biobank of proneural cells has been confirmed with a recent study that analysed, for the first time in Spain, the formation of heteromers (units of two different receptors) in the proneurons of the olfactory epithelium as indicators of mental illness.
The researchers studied the formation of heteromers in the CB1 cannabinoid and 5HT2A serotonergic receptors in chronic consumers of cannabis and found that their formation was directly related with the consumption of cannabis, and that the more cognitive problems the patient had, the larger the quantity of heteromers found in the proneurons of their olfactory neuroepithelium.
This study enables affirmation that the formation of heteromers in the olfactory cells is a good model for monitoring mental illnesses that involve cognitive alterations. They enable us to see the level of neuronal involvement in patients and their prognosis, and therefore allow us a new diagnostic and prognostic tool for mental illnesses with cognitive deficiencies, these being disorders for which, to date, it has been very difficult to obtain information on a molecular and biochemical level.
Galindo L, Moreno E, López F, Guinart D, Cuenca A, Izquierdo-Serra M, Xicota L, Menoyo E, Fernández-Fernández JM, Benítez-King G, Canela EI, Casadó V, Pérez V, de la Torre R, Robledo P*. Cannabis Users Show Enhanced Expression of CB1-5HT2A Receptor Heteromers in Olfactory Neuroepithelium Cells. Mol Neurobiol 2018; 55(8): 6347-6361.