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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2006 Jul;16(5):324-8. Epub 2005 Sep 22.

Antidepressant-like effect of harmane and other beta-carbolines in the mouse forced swim test.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari 48168, Iran. davoodfarzin@yahoo.com

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of harmane, norharmane and harmine on the immobility time in the mouse forced swim test (FST) - an animal model of depression. After 30 min of the beta-carbolines injections, mice were placed individually in a vertical glass cylinder (height, 25 cm; diameter, 12 cm) containing water about 15 cm deep at 22+/-1 degrees C and forced to swim. Treatment of animals with harmane (5-15 mg/kg, i.p.), norharmane (2.5-10 mg/kg, i.p.) and harmine (5-15 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced dose-dependently the time of immobility. Their antidepressant-like effects were not affected by pretreatment with reserpine at the dose of 5 mg/kg, i.p., 18 h before the test, which did not modify the immobility time. Conversely, when flumazenil (5 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 30 min before the test, it was able to antagonize completely the antidepressant-like effects of harmane, norharmane and harmine. It was concluded that harmane, norharmane and harmine reduce the immobility time in this test, suggesting an antidepressant-like effect, via an inverse-agonistic mechanism located in the benzodiazepine receptors.

PMID:
16183262
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2005.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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