Study conducted in collaboration with ELF discovers brain compound can blur traumatic memories

15 May 2020

An international team of researchers led by Leiden chemist Mario van der Stelt, have found that a naturally occurring compound in the brain, anandamide, contributes to the reduction of traumatic memories.

In his screening proposal to ELF, Professor van der Stelt suggested to search for new inhibitors of NAPE-PLD, the protein responsible for the production of anandamide in the brain. The ELF partners carried out High-Throughput Screening (HTS) on the JECL and performed deselection assays ending up with five high-quality hits with four different chemotypes. Further optimisation of the hits by the Leiden chemists and their collaborators led to the discovery and characterisation of LEI-401 as the first CNS-active NAPE-PLD inhibitor.

The findings presented by the team may open up new avenues for the treatment of anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress.

The study was published in Nature Chemical Biology on 11 May 2020.