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Pharmacol Rep. 2013;65(6):1681-7.

Ethanol withdrawal-induced depressive symptoms in animals and therapeutic potential of sigma1 receptor ligands.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Smętna 12, PL 31-343 Kraków, Poland.


Clinical evidence has indicated a high degree of comorbidity of alcoholism and depression. Manifestation of the depression symptoms during abstinence increases the likelihood of relapse and indicates a worse prognosis in terms of treatment outcome. The depressive symptoms may be alcohol independent or alcohol induced. In this paper, only the ethanol-related depression is the focus of interest. In preclinical studies, some models of depressive-like symptoms induced by chronic alcohol treatment and withdrawal were proposed. In this minireview, the results concerning the depression-like behavior and some accompanying biochemical changes induced by prolonged ethanol exposure and its cessation in rats and mice were summarized. Moreover, the therapeutic potential of sigma1 receptor ligands for the treatment of depression disorder induced by ethanol abuse and withdrawal is discussed.

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