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Behav Brain Res. 2001 Jan 8;118(1):77-83.

The antidepressant activity of inositol in the forced swim test involves 5-HT(2) receptors.

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Beer Sheva Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 4600, Beer Sheva, Israel.


The effect of inositol as an antidepressant was previously demonstrated in both animal models of depression-like behavior and in clinical trials. Unlike most antidepressant drugs, inositol does not have a clear target in the synapse and was not demonstrated to alter monoamine levels in the brain. The present study attempted to draw a psychopharmacological profile of inositol's behavioral effects by exploring the interactions between the drug and specific receptor agonists and antagonists in the forced swim test. Rats received inositol treatment (or control) in combination with the serotonergic metabolism inhibitor PCPA or with the noradrenergic neurotoxin DSP-4. Results indicated that PCPA but not DSP-4 abolished the ability of inositol to cause a reduction in immobility time in the forced swim test. In mice, the specific 5-HT(2A)/5-HT(2C) antagonist ritanserin, but not the 5-HT(1A)/5-HT(1B)/beta adrenergic antagonist pindolol, abolished inositol's effect in the forced swim test. The 5-HT(2A)/5-HT(2C) agonist DOI and the 5-HT(1A) agonist 8-OH-DPAT did not have any significant effects on inositol's activity. The present data indicates that the antidepressant effect of inositol may involve 5-HT(2) receptors. It is thus possible that the effects of reuptake antidepressant drugs and the effects of inositol may have a common final pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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