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Behav Brain Res. 2013 Nov 1;256:520-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.09.002. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

Serotonergic receptor mechanisms underlying antidepressant-like action in the progesterone withdrawal model of hormonally induced depression in rats.

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External Sourcing and Scientific Excellence, Lundbeck Research USA, United States. Electronic address:


Hormonally induced mood disorders such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) are characterized by a range of physical and affective symptoms including anxiety, irritability, anhedonia, social withdrawal and depression. Studies demonstrated rodent models of progesterone withdrawal (PWD) have a high level of constructive and descriptive validity to model hormonally-induced mood disorders in women. Here we evaluate the effects of several classes of antidepressants in PWD female Long-Evans rats using the forced swim test (FST) as a measure of antidepressant activity. The study included fluoxetine, duloxetine, amitriptyline and an investigational multimodal antidepressant, vortioxetine (5-HT(3), 5-HT(7) and 5-HT(1D) receptor antagonist; 5-HT(1B) receptor partial agonist; 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist; inhibitor of the serotonin transporter (SERT)). After 14 days of administration, amitriptyline and vortioxetine significantly reduced immobility in the FST whereas fluoxetine and duloxetine were ineffective. After 3 injections over 48 h, neither fluoxetine nor duloxetine reduced immobility, whereas amitriptyline and vortioxetine significantly reduced FST immobility during PWD. When administered acutely during PWD, the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist, flesinoxan, significantly reduced immobility, whereas the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist, WAY-100635, increased immobility. The 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist, ondansetron, significantly reduced immobility, whereas the 5-HT(3) receptor agonist, SR-57227, increased immobility. The 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist, SB-269970, was inactive, although the 5-HT(7) receptor agonist, AS-19, significantly increased PWD-induced immobility. None of the compounds investigated (ondansetron, flesinoxan and SB-269970) improved the effect of fluoxetine during PWD. These data indicate that modulation of specific 5-HT receptor subtypes is critical for manipulating FST immobility in this model of hormone-induced depression.


5-HT; 8-OH-DPAT DPAT; 8-hydroxy-2-(di-N-propylamino)tetralin; AMI; ANOVA; AS; AS-19; DLX; FLES; FLX; FST; Flesinoxan; Forced swim test; GABA; OND; Ondansetron; PMDD; PWD; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD); Progesterone withdrawal; SB; SB-269970; SERT; SNRI; SR; SR-57227; SSRI; VOR; Vortioxetine; WAY; WAY-100635; amitriptyline; analysis of variance; duloxetine; flesinoxan; fluoxetine; forced swim test; ondansetron; premenstrual dysphoric disorder; progesterone withdrawal; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; serotonin; serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor; serotonin transporter; vortioxetine; γ-aminobutyric acid

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