JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Clavulanic Acid and its Potential Therapeutic Effects on the Central Nervous System.

Clavulanic acid (CLAV) is a non-antibiotic β-lactam that has been used since the late 1970s as a β-lactamase inhibitor in combination with amoxicillin, another ß-lactam with antibiotic activity. Its long-observed adverse reaction profile allows it to say that CLAV is a well-tolerated drug with mainly mild adverse reactions. Interestingly, in 2005, it was discovered that β-lactams enhance the astrocytic expression of GLT-1, a glutamate transporter essential for maintaining synaptic glutamate homeostasis involved in several pathologies of the central nervous system (CNS). This finding, along with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, prompted the appearance of several studies that intended to evaluate the effect of CLAV in preclinical disease models. Studies have revealed that CLAV can increase GLT-1 expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), and spinal cord of rodents, to affect glutamate and dopaminergic neurotransmission, and exert an anti-inflammatory effect by modulating the levels of the cytokines TNF-α and interleukin 10 (IL-10). CLAV has been tested with positive results in preclinical models of epilepsy, addiction, stroke, neuropathic and inflammatory pain, dementia, Parkinson's disease, and sexual and anxiety behavior. These properties make CLAV a potential therapeutic drug if repurposed. Therefore, this review aims to gather information on CLAV's effect on preclinical neurological disease models and to give some perspectives on its potential therapeutic use in some diseases of the CNS.

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