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Int J Prev Med. 2019 Nov 6;10:195. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_53_18. eCollection 2019.

Preventive Effects of Duloxetine Against Methamphetamine Induced Neurodegeneration and Motor Activity Disorder in Rat: Possible Role of CREB/BDNF Signaling Pathway.

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School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health (Tehran Institute of Psychiatry), Tehran, Iran.
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Zanjan 45371-38791, Zanjan, Iran.
Research Center for Addiction and Risky Behaviors (ReCARB), Iran Psychiatric Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



The neuroprotective effects of duloxetine and neurodegenerative effects of methamphetamine have been shown in previous studies, but their exact mechanism remain unclear. In the current study it involved molecular mechanisms of neuroprotective effects of duloxetine against methamphetamine induced neurodegeneration were clarified.


About 40 adult male rats randomly were divided to 5 groups. Group 1 and 2, as control and methamphetamine treated, received normal saline and methamphetamine (10 mg/kg) respectively. Groups 3, 4 and 5 concurrently treated with methamphetamine and duloxetine at doses of 10, 20 and 30 mg/kg respectively. All treatments were undertaken for 21 days. On day 22 Open Field Test (OFT) were used to examine the level of motor activity disturbance and anxiety in animals. After that hippocampus was isolated from each rat and oxidative, antioxidant, inflammatory factors and also level or expression of total and phosphorylated forms of CREB and P-CREB and BDNF proteins were measured.


Duloxetine in all mentioned doses could inhibit the effects of methamphetamine induced motor activity disturbance in MWM. Chronic abuse of methamphetamine could increase malondialdehyde (MDA), tumor necrosis factor-Alpha (TNF-α) and interleukine-1beta (IL-1β) while caused decreases in superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities and decreased CREB (both forms) and BDNF proteins, while duloxetine could prevent these malicious effects of methamphetamine.


We conclude that P-CREB/BDNF signaling pathways might have critical role in duloxetine neuroprotective effects against methamphetamine induced neurodegeneration.


Duloxetine; P-CREB/BDNF pathway; methamphetamine; motor activity; neurodegeneration

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