The preclinical discovery and development of quetiapine for the treatment of mania and depression

A. Miranda, Fabrício A. Moreira, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Bipolar disorder is a chronic disabling condition characterized by alternating manic and depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder has been associated with functional impairment, poor quality of life, morbidity and mortality. Despite its significant clinical, social and economic burden, treatment options for bipolar disorder are still limited. Several clinical trials have shown efficacy of the atypical antipsychotic quetiapine (QTP) in the treatment of this condition. However, the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant and anti-manic effects of QTP remain poorly understood. Areas covered: The article provides the emerging evidence from pre-clinical studies regarding the antidepressant and anti-manic mechanisms of action of QTP. In combination with its primary active metabolite norquetiapine, QTP modulates several neurotransmitter systems, including serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline and histamine. QTP also seems to influence mediators of the immune system. Expert opinion: Pre-clinical studies have provided valuable information on the potential antidepressant mechanisms of action of QTP, but pre-clinical studies on QTP’s anti-manic effects are still scarce. A major problem refers to the lack of valid experimental models for bipolar disorder. Additionally, immune and genetic based studies are largely descriptive. The role of the QTP metabolite norquetiapine in modulating non-neurotransmitter systems also needs to be further addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-535
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • BDNF
  • Quetiapine
  • bipolar depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • clock genes
  • dopamine
  • mania
  • norquetiapine
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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