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Characterization of antidepressant-like effects of p-synephrine stereoisomers.

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Department of Pharmacology, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Institute for Medical Sciences, Chonchu, South Korea.


We previously reported that p-synephrine has antidepressant-like activity in the murine models of forced swimming and tail suspension. In the present study, we characterized antidepressant-like effects of p-synephrine stereoisomers in both in vivo and in vitro systems. In the tail suspension test, S-(+)-p-synephrine (3 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced the duration of immobility, while R-(-)-p-synephrine (0.3-3 mg/kg, p.o.) had no effect. S-(+)-p-synephrine (0.3, 1 and 3 mg/kg, p.o.) and R-(-)-p-synephrine (1 mg/ kg and 3 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly reversed the reserpine (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced hypothermia. S-(+)-p-synephrine was more effective than R-(-)-p-synephrine in inhibition of both [3H]noradrenaline uptake in rat cerebral cortical slices (maximal inhibition 85.7 +/- 7.8% vs. 59.8 +/- 4.3%; EC50 5.8 +/- 0.7 microM vs. 13.5 +/- 1.2 microM) and [3H]nisoxetine binding (Ki 4.5 +/- 0.5 microM vs. 8.2 +/- 0.7 microM). In contrast, R-(-)-p-synephrine was more effective than S-(+)-p-synephrine in stimulation of [3H]noradrenaline release from rat cerebral cortical slices (maximal stimulation 23.9 +/- 1.8% vs. 20.1 +/- 1.7%; EC50 8.2 +/- 0.6 microM vs. EC50 12.3 +/- 0.9 microM). The stimulatory effect of R-(-)-p-synephrine on [3H]noradrenaline release was inhibited by nisoxetine (100 nM), but tetrodotoxin (1 microM) and elimination of extracellular calcium had no effect. It is suggested that S-(+)-p-synephrine has more effective antidepressant-like activity than R-(-)-p-synephrine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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