Therapeutic potential of isoform selective HDAC inhibitors for the treatment of schizophrenia

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Increasing evidence supports a role for epigenetic involvement in some of the neurobiological alterations observed in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. In particular, there is mounting evidence implicating dysfunction in acetylation status, a chromatin modification mediated in part by HDACs, as a possible contributing factor to certain facets of this debilitating disease. Additional data support the notion that small molecule inhibition of HDACs may provide therapeutic alternatives to treating many of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, particularly cognitive deficits. However, the development of highly potent and selective inhibitors of the individual HDAC isoforms will be necessary to delineate the associated biological effects and test the feasibility of such an approach for this complex and chronically treated disease. Here, we summarize current evidence for the role of HDAC isoforms in schizophrenia and highlight the state of the art in developing selective inhibitors of these isoforms as a potential treatment for schizophrenia.

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