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CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2013 Nov;12(7):1050-65.

Probenecid: an emerging tool for neuroprotection.

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Laboratorio de Aminoácidos Excitadores, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Insurgentes Sur 3877, México D.F. 14269, México.


Probenecid (PROB) has been widely used for long time for different clinical purposes, from gout treatment to designs as a coadjutant for antibiotic agents. Among its many properties, the ability of PROB to preserve high concentrations of several metabolites and other agents in the CNS, together with its relative lack of side-effects, have made this drug a valuable pharmacological tool for clinical and basic research. Nowadays, biomedical research offers evidence about new targets for PROB that may help to explain its many beneficial actions. In this regard, despite most of its protective actions in the brain have been largely related to its capacity to accumulate the inhibitory metabolite kynurenic acid to further inhibit the glutamate-related excitotoxicity in different animal models of neurological disorders, in this review we describe the basic aspects of PROB's pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of action and discuss other alternative targets recently described for this drug that may complement its pattern of activity in the CNS, including its role as anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive agent when targeting different key proteins.

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