“Our focus is on antimuscarinic drugs that selectively target the type 1 muscarinic receptor,” said Dr. Fernyhough, who noted that while there are other muscarinic receptors to be aware of, agents that target these alternative receptors do not appear to enhance axon regeneration in adult sensory neurons.
Dr. Fernyhough and his colleagues have been focused on drugs that won’t cross the blood brain barrier. “Such approach will limit the possibility of generation of side effects by these antimuscarinic drugs within the central nervous system,” said Dr. Fernyhough.
Role of Muscarinic Type 1 Receptor in Peripheral Neuropathy
The study provides early evidence that the M1R receptor is a key factor in the pathology of peripheral neuropathy. By applying the muscarinic receptor agonist muscarine (10 μM), researchers were able to inhibit neurite outgrowth, not enhance it, by a significant 50%.1