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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Dec;31(12):1237-43. doi: 10.1177/0960327112444938. Epub 2012 May 1.

Effect of zinc in animal models of anxiety, depression and psychosis.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University), New Delhi, India.


The role of zinc (Zn) in anxiety, depression and psychosis was studied in rodents. Zn was administered at doses of 15 and 20 mg/kg intraperitoneally for 7 days. Both doses of Zn reduced the immobility time and increased the swimming time in the modified forced swim test. In the elevated plus maze test, increases in the number of open arm entries and time spent in the open arms were observed with both doses of Zn. In the amphetamine (1 and 2 mg/kg subcutaneously) induced locomotor activity test both doses of Zn produced reduction in the total movement time, mean velocity and stereotypic movements. Extrapyramidal symptoms such as catalepsy in animals are usually observed with conventional antipsychotic agents; but in the present study, Zn at doses of 15 and 20 mg/kg did not produce any cataleptic state in mice. The results of the present study demonstrated the anxiolytic, antidepressant and antipsychotic-like effects of Zn metal ion, which may be due to its N-methyl d-aspartate receptor antagonistic activity. Concurrent administration of a lower dose of Zn with standard existing anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs in this study showed potentiating effect, suggesting that Zn could exert beneficial role when prescribed as add-on medicine in the psychiatric illnesses. The results obtained in this study are preliminary, as further research is required to confirm the exact role of Zn metal in the investigated central nervous system disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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