Anxiety disorders, ranging from social phobia to post-traumatic stress disorder, are the most common psychiatric diseases in the United States. Research in mice suggests a link between the gene that encodes Glyoxylase 1 (GLO1) and increased anxiety; however, the mechanism underlying this association has remained unclear.
The normal role of GLO1 is to degrade cytotoxic byproducts of glycolysis, a function which has no obvious connection to anxiety.
Margaret Distler and colleagues at the University of Chicago asked whether the primary substrate of GLO1, methylglyoxal, might have undocumented neurological effects. Using a mouse model, they demonstrated that methylglyoxal stimulates robust activity from GABAA receptors, which are neuron receptors that respond to neurotransmitters. …
- Cellular metabolism linked to anxiety disorders (eurekalert.org)
- Mystery gene reveals new mechanism for anxiety disorders (eurekalert.org)
- Mystery gene reveals new mechanism for anxiety disorders (sciencedaily.com)