PDE inhibitors in psychiatry--future options for dementia, depression and schizophrenia?

Drug Discov Today. 2007 Oct;12(19-20):870-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2007.07.023. Epub 2007 Sep 11.


Phosphodiesterases are key enzymes in cellular signalling pathways. They degrade cyclic nucleotides and their inhibition via specific inhibitors offers unique 'receptor-independent' opportunities to modify cellular function. An increasing number of in vitro and animal model studies point to innovative treatment options in neurology and psychiatry. This review critiques a selection of recent studies and developments with a focus on dementia/neuroprotection, depression and schizophrenia. Despite increased interest among the clinical neurosciences, there are still no approved PDE inhibitors for clinical use in neurology or psychiatry. Adverse effects are a major impediment for clinical approval. It is therefore necessary to search for more specific inhibitors at the level of different PDE sub-families and isoforms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dementia / drug therapy*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors