Prodepressant- and anxiogenic-like effects of serotonin-selective, but not noradrenaline-selective, antidepressant agents in mice lacking ?2-containing GABAA receptors.
ABSTRACT: Deficits in neuronal inhibition via gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors (GABAA-Rs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder and the therapeutic effects of current antidepressant treatments, however, the relevant GABAA-R subtype as defined by its alpha subunit is still unknown. We previously reported anxiety- and depressive-like behavior in alpha2+/- and alpha2-/- mice, respectively (Vollenweider, 2011). We sought to determine whether this phenotype could be reversed by chronic antidepressant treatment. Adult male mice received 4 or 8mg/kg fluoxetine or 53mg/kg desipramine in their drinking water for four weeks before undergoing behavioral testing. In the novelty suppressed feeding test, desipramine had anxiolytic-like effects reducing the latencies to bite and to eat the pellet in both wild-type and alpha2+/- mice. Surprisingly, 4mg/kg fluoxetine had anxiogenic-like effects in alpha2+/- mice increasing latency to bite and to eat while 8mg/kg fluoxetine increased the latency to eat in both wild-type and alpha2+/- mice. In the forced swim and tail suspension tests, chronic desipramine treatment increased latency to immobility in wild-type and alpha2-/- mice. In contrast, chronic fluoxetine treatment increased immobility in alpha2-/- mice in both tasks while generally having no effect in wild-type mice. These findings suggest that in preclinical paradigms of anxiety and behavioral despair the antidepressant-like effects of desipramine are independent of alpha2-containing GABAA-Rs, while a reduction in alpha2 expression leads to an increased sensitivity to anxiogenic- and prodepressant-like effects with chronic fluoxetine treatment, pointing to a potential role of alpha2-containing GABAA-Rs in the response to serotonin-selective antidepressants.
Project description:Depression is a complex, heterogeneous mental disorder. Currently available antidepressants are only effective in about one-third to one-half of all patients. The mechanisms underlying antidepressant response and treatment resistance are poorly understood. Recent clinical evidence implicates the involvement of leptin in treatment response to antidepressants. In this study, we determined the functional role of the leptin receptor (LepRb) in behavioral responses to the selective serotonergic antidepressant fluoxetine and the noradrenergic antidepressant desipramine. While acute and chronic treatment with fluoxetine or desipramine in wild-type mice elicited antidepressant-like effects in the forced swim test, mice null for LepRb (db/db) displayed resistance to treatment with either fluoxetine or desipramine. Fluoxetine stimulated phosphorylation of Akt(Thr308) and GSK-3β(Ser9) in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of wild-type mice but not in db/db mice. Desipramine failed to induce measurable changes in Akt, GSK-3β or ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the hippocampus and PFC, as well as hypothalamus of either genotype of mice. Deletion of LepRb specifically from hippocampal and cortical neurons resulted in fluoxetine insensitivity in the forced swim test and tail suspension test while leaving the response to desipramine intact. These results suggest that functional LepRb is critically involved in regulating the antidepressant-like behavioral effects of both fluoxetine and desipramine. The antidepressant effects of fluoxetine but not desipramine are dependent on the presence of functional LepRb in the hippocampus and cortex.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Type A receptor deficits that are induced by global or forebrain-specific heterozygous inactivation of the gamma2 subunit gene in mouse embryos result in behavior indicative of trait anxiety and depressive states. By contrast, a comparable deficit that is delayed to adolescence is without these behavioral consequences. Here we characterized gamma2-deficient mice with respect to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis abnormalities and antidepressant drug responses. METHODS:We analyzed the behavioral responses of gamma2(+/-) mice to desipramine and fluoxetine in novelty suppressed feeding, forced swim, tail suspension, and sucrose consumption tests as well as GABA(A) receptor deficit- and antidepressant drug treatment-induced alterations in serum corticosterone. RESULTS:Baseline corticosterone concentrations in adult gamma2-deficient mice were elevated independent of whether the genetic lesion was induced during embryogenesis or delayed to adolescence. However, the manifestation of anxious-depressive behavior in different gamma2-deficient mouse lines was correlated with early onset HPA axis hyperactivity during postnatal development. Chronic but not subchronic treatment of gamma2(+/-) mice with fluoxetine or desipramine normalized anxiety-like behavior in the novelty suppressed feeding test. Moreover, desipramine had antidepressant-like effects in that it normalized HPA axis function and depression-related behavior of gamma2(+/-) mice in the forced swim, tail suspension, and sucrose consumption tests. By contrast, fluoxetine was ineffective as an antidepressant and failed to normalize HPA axis function. CONCLUSIONS:Developmental deficits in GABAergic inhibition in the forebrain cause behavioral and endocrine abnormalities and selective antidepressant drug responsiveness indicative of anxious-depressive disorders such as melancholic depression, which are frequently characterized by HPA axis hyperactivity and greater efficacy of desipramine versus fluoxetine.
Project description:The forced swim test in rodents allows rapid detection of substances with antidepressant-like activity, evidenced as a decreased duration of immobility that is produced by the majority of clinically used antidepressants. Antidepressants also increase the latency to immobility, and this additional measure reportedly can increase the sensitivity of the forced swim test in mice. Extending these findings, the present study examined the effects of desipramine and fluvoxamine in a forced swim test in C57BL/6J mice, a strain commonly used as background for genetic modifications, analyzing results with a method (i.e. survival analysis) that can model the skewed distribution of latencies and that can deal with censored data (i.e. when immobility does not occur during the test), in comparison with the more traditional Student's t-test. Desipramine increased the latency to immobility at 32?mg/kg, but not at lower doses. Fluvoxamine also did not affect latency at lower doses, but in contrast to desipramine, fluvoxamine decreased the latency to immobility at the highest dose (i.e. 32?mg/kg). At doses affecting latency to immobility, neither desipramine nor fluvoxamine significantly affected duration of immobility. Together, these results are generally consistent with the suggestion that inclusion of the latency measure can increase the sensitivity of the forced swim test to detect antidepressant-like effects in mice.
Project description:The authors compared the effectiveness of fluoxetine and desipramine treatment in a prospective double-blind pharmacogenetics study in first-generation Mexican Americans and examined the role of whole-exome functional gene variations in the patients' antidepressant response.A total of 232 Mexican Americans who met DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to receive 8 weeks of double-blind treatment with desipramine (50-200 mg/day) or fluoxetine (10-40 mg/day) after a 1-week placebo lead-in period. Outcome measures included the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and the Beck Depression Inventory. At week 8, whole-exome genotyping data were obtained for 36 participants who remitted and 29 who did not respond to treatment.Compared with desipramine treatment, fluoxetine treatment was associated with a greater reduction in HAM-D score, higher response and remission rates, shorter time to response and remission, and lower incidences of anticholinergic and cardiovascular side effects. Pharmacogenetics analysis showed that exm-rs1321744 achieved exome-wide significance for treatment remission. This variant is located in a brain methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing site, which suggests that it may be involved in epigenetic regulation of neuronal gene expression. This and two other common gene variants provided a highly accurate cross-validated predictive model for treatment remission of major depression (receiver operating characteristic integral=0.95).Compared with desipramine, fluoxetine treatment showed a more rapid reduction of HAM-D score and a lower incidence of side effects in a population comprising primarily first-generation Mexican Americans with major depression. This study's pharmacogenetics approach strongly implicates the role of functional variants in antidepressant treatment response.
Project description:Major depression is a highly complex disabling psychiatric disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Despite the availability of several classes of antidepressants, a substantial percentage of patients are unresponsive to these medications. A better understanding of the neurobiology of depression and the mechanisms underlying antidepressant response is thus critically needed. We previously reported that mice lacking CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) exhibit a depressive-like phenotype and a blunted antidepressant response to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine. In this study, we similarly show that Crtc1(-/-) mice are resistant to the antidepressant effect of chronic desipramine in a behavioral despair paradigm. Supporting the blunted response to this tricyclic antidepressant, we found that desipramine does not significantly increase the expression of Bdnf and Nr4a1-3 in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of Crtc1(-/-) mice. Epigenetic regulation of neuroplasticity gene expression has been associated with depression and antidepressant response, and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been shown to have antidepressant-like properties. Here, we show that unlike conventional antidepressants, chronic systemic administration of the HDAC inhibitor SAHA partially rescues the depressive-like behavior of Crtc1(-/-) mice. This behavioral effect is accompanied by an increased expression of Bdnf, but not Nr4a1-3, in the prefrontal cortex of these mice, suggesting that this epigenetic intervention restores the expression of a subset of genes by acting downstream of CRTC1. These findings suggest that CRTC1 alterations may be associated with treatment-resistant depression, and support the interesting possibility that targeting HDACs may be a useful therapeutic strategy in antidepressant development.
Project description:Mice unable to synthesize norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine due to targeted disruption of the dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene, Dbh, were used to critically test roles for NE in mediating acute behavioral changes elicited by different classes of antidepressants. To this end, we used the tail suspension test, one of the most widely used paradigms for assessing antidepressant activity and depression-related behaviors in normal and genetically modified mice. Dbh(-/-) mice failed to respond to the behavioral effects of various antidepressants, including the NE reuptake inhibitors desipramine and reboxetine, the monoamine oxidase inhibitor pargyline, and the atypical antidepressant bupropion, even though they did not differ in baseline immobility from Dbh(+/-) mice, which have normal levels of NE. Surprisingly, the effects of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine were also absent or severely attenuated in the Dbh(-/-) mice. In contrast, citalopram (the most selective SSRI) was equally effective at reducing immobility in mice with and without NE. Restoration of NE by using L-threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine reinstated the behavioral effects of both desipramine and paroxetine in Dbh(-/-) mice, thus demonstrating that the reduced sensitivity to antidepressants is related to NE function, as opposed to developmental abnormalities resulting from chronic NE deficiency. Microdialysis studies demonstrated that the ability of fluoxetine to increase hippocampal serotonin was blocked in Dbh(-/-) mice, whereas citalopram's effect was only partially attenuated. These data show that NE plays an important role in mediating acute behavioral and neurochemical actions of many antidepressants, including most SSRIs.
Project description:Differences in 5-HT1A receptor function have been implicated in vulnerability to depression and in response to treatment. Adding 5-HT1A partial agonists to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors has been touted as a strategy to increase their efficacy. Here we use the novelty suppressed feeding paradigm to compare the effects of vilazodone, a high-potency selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, with high affinity for 5-HT1A receptors to the reference selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine across several mouse strains that differ in their response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.To confirm 5-HT1A agonist activity, body temperature was measured after acute administration of vilazodone or fluoxetine, as administration of 5-HT1A agonists induces hypothermia. We next used 3 strains of mice to examine the effects of the drugs on latency in the novelty suppressed feeding, a paradigm generally sensitive to chronic but not acute effects of antidepressants.Vilazodone induces robust hypothermia and blocks stress-induced hyperthermia in a 5-HT1A-dependent manner, consistent with agonist effects at 5-HT1A autoreceptors. In 129SvEv mice, vilazodone (10mg/kg/d) reduces the latency to eat in the novelty suppressed feeding test within 8 days, while no effect of fluoxetine (20mg/kg/d) was detected at that time. In contrast, both vilazodone and fluoxetine are effective at decreasing latency to eat in the novelty suppressed feeding paradigm in a strain with low autoreceptor levels. In mice with higher autoreceptor levels, no significant difference was detected between fluoxetine and vehicle (P=.8) or vilazodone and vehicle (P=.06).In mice, vilazodone may offer advantages in time of onset and efficacy over a reference selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in the novelty suppressed feeding test.
Project description:Desipramine is known principally as a tricyclic antidepressant drug used to promote recovery of depressed patients. It has also been used in a number of other psychiatric and medical conditions. The present study is the first to investigate the neuroprotective effect of desipramine.Mes23.5 dopaminergic cells were used to examine neuroprotective effect of desipramine. Western blot, reverse transcription-PCR, MTT assay, siRNA transfection and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) were carried out to assess the effects of desipramine. Desipramine induces endogenous anti-oxidative enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protein and mRNA expression in concentration- and time-dependent manners. A different type of antidepressant SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), fluoxetine also shows similar effects of desipramine on HO-1 expression. Moreover, desipramine induces HO-1 expression through activation of ERK and JNK signaling pathways. Desipramine also increases NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) accumulation in the nucleus and enhances Nrf2-DNA binding activity. Moreover, desipramine-mediated increase of HO-1 expression is reduced by transfection with siRNA against Nrf2. On the other hand, pretreatment of desipramine protects neuronal cells against rotenone- and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neuronal death. Furthermore, inhibition of HO-1 activity by a HO-1 pharmacological inhibitor, ZnPP IX, attenuates the neuroprotective effect of desipramine. Otherwise, activation of HO-1 activity by HO-1 activator and inducer protect 6-OHDA-induced neuronal death.These findings suggest that desipramine-increased HO-1 expression is mediated by Nrf2 activation through the ERK and JNK signaling pathways. Our results also suggest that desipramine provides a novel effect of neuroprotection, and neurodegenerative process might play an important role in depression disorder.
Project description:Earlier studies have implicated brain-derived neurotrophic factor in stress and in the mechanism of action of antidepressants. It has been shown that antidepressants upregulate, whereas corticosterone downregulates, brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in rat brain. Whether various classes of antidepressants reverse corticosterone-mediated downregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor is unclear. Also not known is how antidepressants or corticosterone regulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression. To clarify this, we examined the effects of various classes of antidepressants and corticosterone, alone and in combination, on the mRNA expression of total brain-derived neurotrophic factor and of individual brain-derived neurotrophic factor exons, in rat brain. Normal or corticosterone pellet-implanted (100 mg, 21 days) rats were injected with different classes of antidepressants, fluoxetine, desipramine, or phenelzine, intraperitoneally for 21 days and killed 2 h after the last injection. mRNA expression of total brain-derived neurotrophic factor and of exons I-IV was measured in frontal cortex and hippocampus. Given to normal rats, fluoxetine increased total brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA only in hippocampus, whereas desipramine or phenelzine increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA in both frontal cortex and hippocampus. When specific exons were examined, desipramine increased expression of exons I and III in both brain areas, whereas phenelzine increased exon I in both frontal cortex and hippocampus but exon IV only in hippocampus. On the other hand, fluoxetine increased only exon II in hippocampus. Corticosterone treatment of normal rats decreased expression of total brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA in both brain areas, specifically decreasing exons II and IV. Treatment with desipramine or phenelzine of corticosterone pellet-implanted rats reversed the corticosterone-induced decrease in total brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in both brain areas; however, fluoxetine reversed the decrease only partially in hippocampus. Interestingly, antidepressant treatment of corticosterone pellet-implanted rats increased only those specific exons that are increased during treatment of normal rats with each particular antidepressant. We found that although corticosterone and antidepressants both modulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression, and antidepressants reverse the corticosterone-induced brain-derived neurotrophic factor decrease, antidepressants and corticosterone differ in how they regulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor exon(s).
Project description:Anhedonia, or diminished interest or pleasure in rewarding activities, characterizes depression and reflects deficits in brain reward circuitries. Social stress induces anhedonia and increases risk of depression, although the effect of social stress on brain reward function is incompletely understood.This study assessed the following: 1) brain reward function in rats (using the intracranial self-stimulation procedure) and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and related signaling molecules in response to chronic social defeat, 2) brain reward function during social defeat and long-term treatment with the antidepressants fluoxetine (5 mg/kg/day) and desipramine (10 mg/kg/day), and 3) forced swim test behavior after social defeat and fluoxetine treatment.Social defeat profoundly and persistently decreased brain reward function, reflecting an enduring anhedonic response, in susceptible rats, whereas resilient rats showed no long-term brain reward deficits. In the ventral tegmental area, social defeat, regardless of susceptibility or resilience, decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor and increased phosphorylated AKT, whereas only susceptibility was associated with increased phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin. Fluoxetine and desipramine reversed lower, but not higher, stress-induced brain reward deficits in susceptible rats. Fluoxetine decreased immobility in the forced swim test, as did social defeat.These results suggest that the differential persistent anhedonic response to psychosocial stress may be mediated by ventral tegmental area signaling molecules independent of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and indicate that greater stress-induced anhedonia is associated with resistance to antidepressant treatment. Consideration of these behavioral and neurobiological factors associated with resistance to stress and antidepressant action may promote the discovery of novel targets to treat stress-related mood disorders.