Author(s): OchoaSanchez R, Rainer Q, Comai S, Spadoni G, Bedini A,
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Abstract Melatonin (MLT) is a neurohormone known to be involved in the regulation of anxiety. Most of the physiological actions of MLT in the brain are mediated by two high-affinity G-protein-coupled receptors, denoted MT(1) and MT(2). However, the particular role of these receptors in anxiety remains to be defined. Here we used a novel MT(2)-selective partial agonist, UCM765 to evaluate the involvement of MT(2) receptors in anxiety. Adult male rats were acutely injected with UCM765 (5-10-20mg/kg), MLT (20mg/kg) or diazepam (DZ, 1mg/kg). Anxiety-related behaviors were assessed in the elevated plus maze test (EPMT), novelty suppressed feeding test (NSFT) and open field test (OFT). UCM765 at the dose of 10mg/kg showed anxiolytic-like properties by increasing the time spent in the open arm of the EPMT, and by reducing the latency to eat in a novel environment in the NSFT. In the EPMT, animals treated with UCM765 (10mg/kg) or MLT (20mg/kg) spent more time in the open arms compared to vehicle-treated animals, but to a lesser extent compared to DZ (1mg/kg). In the NSFT, all treatments similarly decreased the latency to eat in a novel environment compared to vehicle. UCM765 and MLT did not affect the total time and the number of entries into the central area of the OFT, but unlike DZ, did not impair locomotion. The anxiolytic effects of UCM765 and MLT in the EPMT and the NSFT were blocked using a pre-treatment with the MT(1)/MT(2) antagonist luzindole (10mg/kg) or the MT(2) antagonist 4P-PDOT (10mg/kg). These results demonstrated, for the first time, the anxiolytic properties of UCM765 and suggest that MT(2)-receptors may be considered a novel target for the development of anxiolytic drugs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research