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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Dec 12;32(8):1829-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.08.007. Epub 2008 Aug 17.

Peripheral nucleotide hydrolysis in rats submitted to a model of electroconvulsive therapy.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica, ICBS, UFRGS, Programa de Pós Graduação em Ciências Biológicas-Bioquímica, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2600 anexo, CEP 90035-003, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an efficacious and safe method for the treatment of mood disorders. Its utilization is accompanied by a myriad of biochemical and cellular changes, which are far from fully understood. The present work investigates in rat serum the effects of seizures induced by electroconvulsive shocks (ECS), an animal model of ECT, on enzymes that hydrolyze ATP, ADP and AMP to adenosine. Two different models of ECS were used, consisting in the application of one or eight ECS sessions, and respectively named acute or chronic. Serum samples were collected at several time points after the single shock in the acute and after the eighth and last shock in the chronic model. A single shock produced a sudden and short-lived inhibition of enzymatic activity (P<0.01 for ADP and AMP), whereas in the chronic model significant increases were noticed starting as early as 12 h after the last shock, remaining significantly elevated until the last measurement 7 days later for ATP and ADP. Analysis of hydrolysis was assessed at the selected time point of 7 days in cerebrospinal fluid samples, also demonstrating a significant activation in the chronic model (P<0.0001 for ATP and ADP). These results support the idea that adenosine nucleotides may be involved in the biochemical mechanisms underlying longer lasting therapeutic effects associated with ECT, and suggest that peripheral markers can possibly contribute to the evaluation of activity in the central nervous system.

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