Author(s): Tchekalarova J, Nenchovska Z, Atanasova D, Atanasova M, Kortenska L,
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Abstract Previous data have shown that the rat model of melatonin deficit can cause a number of neurobiological aberrations. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the antidepressant drug agomelatine, a MT1/MT2 melatoninergic receptor agonist/5-HT2C receptor antagonist is able to prevent some of the behavioral, biochemical and cellular abnormalities induced by pinealectomy. The injection of agomelatine (40 mg/kg, i.p. for 5 weeks)/vehicle started after pinealectomy/sham procedure in Wistar rats. Animals were tested in different behavioral tests for anxiety and depression during the period of agomelatine treatment (chronic effect) and two months later (plastic effect). The effect of agomelatine on KCl-evoked serotonin (5-HT) release from the hippocampus, the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and neuronal loss in pinealectomized rats were assessed. Our results showed that agomelatine not only did not prevent the disturbed emotional arousal/anxiety behavior in pinealectomized rats during the treatment but the enhanced motor activity and decreased anxiety state was still observed two months after the discontinuation of treatment. However, the drug corrected a depressive-like behavior (chronic and plastic effect), alleviated the enhanced KCl-evoked 5-HT release in the hippocampus, recovered the suppressed negative feedback inhibition of HPA axis and exerted a neuroprotection in pinealectomized rats. Our findings suggest that pinealectomy can model melancholic depression disorder while the antidepressant action of agomelatine is associated with a correction of 5-HT release in the hippocampus, dysregulated HPA system and neuroprotection in limbic structures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Behav Brain Res
and referenced in Bipolar Disorder: Open Access