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Free Content Editorial [Hot Topic: The Medicinal Chemistry of Serotonin Receptor Modulators (Guest Editors: Balazs Volk and Laszlo G. Harsing, Jr.)]

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Progress in the recent past has allowed examining in detail the actions and mechanisms of naturally occurring and newly synthesised molecules and their interactions with receptor proteins. As part of our understanding in neuronal communication, knowledge of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptors has also expanded tremendously in the last twenty years. The powerful techniques of molecular cloning have revealed a broad diversity of serotonin receptors and their subtypes. The enormous amount of work performed in this field has led to the identification of seven different serotonin receptors and the various subtypes of 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptors. The extent of research carried out is justified by the fact that serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and influences a number of neuroregulator actions in the periphery, in smooth muscle contraction, in the operation of the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal organs, and in platelet functions. Neuroscience research in serotonin receptors has provided the potential to identify newly synthesised compounds acting on these receptors. Drug development in medicinal chemistry is always an exciting procedure but we all know how futile these efforts can be. Chemical synthesis and preclinical screening of serotonin receptor ligands with their inherent difficulties are no exception either.

In the present issue we intend to summarize where we are at present in the discovery of serotonin-like compounds. This volume focuses on recent developments and most importantly on key discoveries to the ligands of various serotonin receptor subtypes. Chapters of this volume provide exhaustive reviews not only of specific serotonin receptor ligands but also of their relevance to health and disease. Moreover, the reader will find chapters discussing compounds acting on the serotonin receptor at multiple sites of action, or acting also on serotonin transporter or histamine receptors.

The contributors of this special issue are all distinguished scientists who have gathered on a common platform and contributed their knowledge to a summary of the medicinal chemistry of serotonin receptor ligands. We believe that their efforts were a success and a pleasurable experience. We are particularly thankful for the magnitude, clarity and explicitness of the authors' descriptions of the basic principles of medicinal chemistry.

This volume can also act as an excellent guide for introducing the subject to the investigators. It is recommended to chemists, neuroscientists and molecular biologists who are interested in the medical chemistry of serotonin research. We hope that this issue will be of valuable assistance and will provide further stimulation to those engaged in laboratory work.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: EGIS Pharmaceuticals Plc.Chemical Research Division Building 25, door 510 H-1106 Budapest, Kereszturi ut 30-38,Hungary.

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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