Genetics of Metabolic and Reproductive Disorders
Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs
The insertion of genes for Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD) into the genome of selected types of neurons is a new and powerful system to achieve temporal stimulation or inhibition of these neurons.
DREADDS are engineered G-protein coupled receptors which are activated by otherwise inert drug-like small molecules.
There are two types of DREADD rectors, activating and inhibiting ones. Activating hM3Dq DREADDs and inhibitory hM4Di DREADDs are based on the M3 respectively M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. Both can be activated through CNO (Clozapine N-Oxide) which results in burst firing in the case of activating DREADDs while inhibitory DEADDs mediate synaptic silencing.