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Behav Pharmacol. 2013 Oct;24(7):590-7. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e3283654258.

Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of hydrogen sulfide in behavioral models of depression and anxiety.

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Institute of Cognition and Nervous Systems Disease, Medical College, University of South China, Hengyang, Hunan, People's Republic of China.


Depression is a common and debilitating mental illness and is often comorbid with anxiety disorders. Altered synaptic plasticity is considered to be an important mechanism underlying antidepressant drug action. It has been reported that hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gaseous transmitter, facilitates the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation and augments synaptic neurotransmission, involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. The aim of this study was to clarify the antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of H2S. H2S (NaHS, 1.68 or 5.6 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, for 7 days) exerts a specific antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test of mice and rats and the tail suspension test of mice, and reduces the anxiety-like behaviors of both mice and rats in the elevated plus-maze test. These results reveal a unique antagonistic action of H2S in depressive-like and anxiety-like behaviors and suggest that elevating H2S signaling in the brain may represent a novel approach for the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders.

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