Themed Issues and Sections: 2008

Safety Pharmacology

Includes the ILSE-HESI initiative themed section: 'initiative on moving towards better predictors of drug-induced torsades de pointes'
Guest Editor: Michael Pugsley
Volume 154, Issue 7 (August 2008)

Safety pharmacology has emerged as a unique specialism during the last decade. Driven by the imperatives of the pharmaceutical industry to formalise a system for anticipating adverse effects of new drugs, it incorporates the principles of bioassay, the techniques of toxicology and all the tools of biological research in a quasi-forensic framework. If, in drug discovery the question about a target and a drug that affects it, is “will it work”, the question in safety pharmacology is simply “is it safe”. While most pharmacologists appreciate the complexity of the issues and approaches necessary to find out the answer to the first question, they may be less sure about the antecedents of the latter. Therefore the present Safety Pharmacology special issue, guest edited by Michael Pugsley, is intended to highlight the continuing evolution of the general and specific aspects of this emerging discipline for the benefit of the general pharmacologists among us who may know little about it. At the same time it is intended to extend the focus of the discipline into a wider context for the benefit the specialists who are part of it.

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Drugs in Sport
Guest Editors: Ian McGrath and Prof David Cowan
Volume 154, Issue 3 (June 2008)

This themed section has been edited by Ian McGrath and David Cowan and contains 11 review articles covering the mechanisms of action of the major groups of drugs that are used illicitly in sport.
The articles are written by experts in how drugs work and lay out in detail where drugs can or cannot affect sporting performance, what other effects, mainly detrimental, they are likely to cause and how they can be detected.
This is deliberately timed to coincide with the Olympic year, when sport is highlighted in the public mind and much speculation is likely to be made concerning the use of drugs. It provides a framework of expert, accurate knowledge to inform and facilitate these debates.
There is also a unique article by the Spedding Brothers, Mike with a long career in drug discovery and Charlie, the Los Angeles Olympic Marathon bronze medal winner, whose English National Marathon record still stands after 23 years. Their unique experience allows them to describe the insidious and unfair way that drug-assisted performance undermines the whole ethos of sport and endangers the vital place of sport in maintaining the health of the population.

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Neuropharmacology of Addiction
Guest Editor: Andrew Lawrence
Volume 154, Issue 2 (May 2008)

In 2007, there were over 8,000 publications listed on PubMed that were keyed with either addiction OR substance abuse OR alcoholism. Clearly, this reflects substantial research effort in this area. Accordingly, the themed issue series of the British Journal of Pharmacology has allocated a volume to allow us to explore the neuropharmacology of addiction with an emphasis on the identification of potential novel therapeutic strategies. With growing public awareness of the problems (both social and medical) associated with issues such as binge drinking, this is a timely release.
Specifically, this issue which is guest edited by Andrew Lawrence, Philip Beart & Peter Kalivas contains 11 reviews and 2 original articles that encompass a broad range of aspects pertinent to substance abuse and addiction.

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CB2 Receptors
Guest Editors: Ruth Ross and Ken Mackie
Volume 153, Issue 2 (January 2008)

This issue has been edited by Ruth Ross and Ken Mackie and contains 16 review articles and 5 original articles which seek to give further insight into the function and role of the hitherto enigmatic CB2 receptor. The meeting “CB2 cannabinoid receptors: New vistas” was held in Banff, Canada in 2007 and was organized by Keith Sharkey, Ken Mackie, Betty Yao, Marnie Duncan and Ruth Ross. This meeting was designed to bring together scientists studying CB2 receptors from diverse perspectives, including those interested in the chemistry of CB2 ligands, the role of CB2 receptors in normal biological processes, and the involvement of CB2 receptors in pathological processes. 

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