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Life Sci. 1987 Oct 5;41(14):1725-30.

Oxytocin acts as an antidepressant in two animal models of depression.

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Institute of Pharmacology, University of Modena, Italy.


In the behavioral despair test in mice, oxytocin, i.p. injected 60 min before testing, significantly reduced the duration of immobility at doses of 0.250-1.0 mg/Kg; the effect being similar to that of imipramine (7.5-30 mg/Kg i.p.). A more powerful effect was obtained with a 10-day treatment schedule. In the learned helplessness test, oxytocin (0.500 mg/Kg/day i.p. for 8 days) significantly reduced the escape failures and the latency to escape, the effect being even more intense than that of imipramine (20 mg/Kg/day i.p. for 8 days). These results show a new behavioral effect of oxytocin, and further support its role of CNS regulatory peptide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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