Preface

Accepting the challenge of editing the first book on a subject is a risky business, particularly if you attempt to produce an overview in the research of 5-HT2C receptors, an area now going back over 25 years with so productive results. Nevertheless, I have embarked on this unique editorial enterprise with the aim of giving pleasure to the readers and researchers and not least to myself, confident that it will be instrumental in future research in 5-HT2C pathophysiology. A few years ago Bryan Roth edited, for the same series "The Receptors," a very fine volume on serotonin receptors. The present volume is a further development of this and is a thorough examination of the 5-HT2C receptor subclass, needed to cover the extraordinary amount of research into nearly every aspect of 5-HT2C receptor function that has recently emerged. This is not surprising, considering that the 5-HT2C receptor is a prominent central serotonin receptor subtype, widely expressed within the central and the peripheral nervous system and is thought to play a major role in the regulation of a plethora of behaviors. Therefore, it has been shown by experimental and clinical observation that it may represent a possible therapeutic target for the development of drugs for a range of CNS disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy, to cite but a few. The book, a result of the efforts of an international group of authors, has the aim of providing an update of the functional status of the 5-HT2C receptor, covering molecular, cellular, anatomical, biochemical, and behavioral aspects, to highlight its distinctive regulatory properties, the emerging functional significance of constitutive activity and RNA-editing in vivo, and the therapeutic potentiality in different diseases that are singled-out in different chapters.

While covering the latest research, for obvious reasons, this volume cannot be exhaustive and it has been impossible to include a number of authors of obvious merit. I hope that more volumes on the subject will be possible in the future.

I want to thank all the authors who have responded very willingly and contributed their time and expertise in preparing their individual contribution to a consistently high standard. My thanks go to Vincenzo Di Matteo and Ennio Esposito who have contributed to the realization of this book. I am indebted to Philippe De Deurwaerdere, who has unselfishly dedicated his time and expertise to insightful and helpful reading of this text and Dr Clare Austen for reviewing the English style of these manuscripts.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Kime Neve, series editor, and Matthew Giampoala, Springer publishing editor, for their help in driving the book's development and eventual publication.

I hope that the contents of this volume will further inspire and stimulate discussions and new interdisciplinary research on the 5-HT2C receptor.

May 2010 Giuseppe Di Giovanni

University of Malta Msida, Malta

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