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Behav Pharmacol. 2015 Aug;26(5):427-35. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000143.

Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of hydrogen sulfide in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats through inhibition of hippocampal oxidative stress.

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aDepartment of Neurology, Nanhua Affiliated Hospital bInstitute of Neuroscience cDepartment of Biochemistry, Medical College dKey Laboratory for Cognitive Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of South China, Hengyang, Hunan, People's Republic of China.


Depression is highly prevalent in individuals with diabetes, and depressive symptoms are less responsive to current antidepressant therapies. Oxidative stress plays a major role both in the pathogenesis of diabetes and in major depression and anxiety disorders. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gaseous mediator, is a novel signaling molecule in the brain that has both antioxidative activity and antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects. We hypothesized that H2S could produce antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects in diabetic patients through its antioxidative effect. To test this hypothesis, we generated streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. We found that H2S alleviated depressive-like behaviors of STZ-induced diabetic rats in the forced swimming and tail suspension tests and reduced their anxiety-like behaviors in the elevated plus maze test. We also found that H2S significantly reduced levels of malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal and elevated levels of superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione in the hippocampus of STZ-induced diabetic rats. The results provide evidence for antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of H2S in STZ-induced diabetic rats and suggest that the therapeutic effects may result from inhibition of hippocampal oxidative stress. These findings suggest that elevating H2S signaling is a potential target for treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders related to diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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