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J Psychopharmacol. 2009 Sep;23(7):797-804. doi: 10.1177/0269881108091587. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

Antidepressant-like effects of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists, but not agonists, in the mouse forced swim and mouse tail suspension tests.

Author information

1
Department of Affective Disorders, Neurosearch A/S, Ballerup, Denmark. JTA@Neurosearch.dk

Abstract

Current literature suggests involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in major depression. However, it is controversial whether the antidepressant-like effect of nAChR modulation is induced by activation, desensitization or inhibition of central nAChRs. In addition, the specific nAChR subtype/s involved remains unknown. In this study, we systematically compared the effects of non-selective and selective nicotinic agonists and antagonists in two different tests for antidepressant effects in mice: the tail suspension test and the forced swim test. Compounds: nicotine, RJR-2403 (alpha4beta2-selective agonist), PNU-282987 (alpha7-selective agonist), mecamylamine (non-selective antagonist), dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE; alpha4beta2-selective antagonist), methyllycaconitine (MLA; alpha7-selective antagonist) and hexamethonium (non-brain-penetrant non-selective antagonist). All compounds were tested in a locomotor activity paradigm to rule out non-specific stimulant effects. The data show that blockade of nAChRs with mecamylamine, or selective antagonism of alpha4beta2 or alpha7 nAChRs with DHbetaE or MLA, respectively, has antidepressant-like effects. These effects were not confounded by motor stimulation. Hexamethonium did not show antidepressant-like activity, supporting the involvement of central nAChRs. At the dose levels tested, none of the nAChR agonists displayed antidepressant-like profiles. In conclusion, antagonism of central alpha4beta2 and/or alpha7 nAChRs induced antidepressant-like effects in mice. A strategy involving antagonism of central nAChRs could potentially lead to the development of novel antidepressant therapeutics.

PMID:
18583432
DOI:
10.1177/0269881108091587
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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