Azam Bakhtiarian

Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran Iran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Title: The effect of nitrazepam on depression and curiosity in behavioral tests in mice: The role of potassium channels


Azam Bakhtiaran has her expertise in Pharmacology. Her main research focus is on “Characterizing effect of different drugs on both in vitro and in vivo models. She has completed her PhD at University of California in Irvine and she is currently an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at Tehran University of Medical Sciences.


Evidence show that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors are involved in depression, so the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nitrazepam as agonist of GABAA receptors on depression and curiosity in male mice and the role of potassium channel in antidepressant-like response. For this purpose, we studied the antidepressant-like properties of fluoxetine, nitrazepam, glibenclamide, and cromakalim by both forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). Animals were injected by various doses of nitrazepam (0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/kg). Nitrazepam at dose of 0.5 mg/kg significantly  decreased the immobility time compared to control group in both FST and TST. Fluoxetine also showed such a response. Co-administration of nitrazepam (0.05 mg/kg) with glibenclamide in TST (1 mg/kg) and in FST (0.3, 1 mg/kg) also showed antidepressant- like response. Beside, cromakalim (0.1 mg/kg) could reverse the antidepressant-like effect of nitrazepam (0.5 mg/kg) in both  FST    and    TST,    while    cromakalim   and glibenclamide alone could not change the immobility time compared to control group (P40.05). The hole-board test revealed that nitrazepam at doses of 0.5 and 0.1  mg/kg could increase the activity of the animal’s head-dipping and boost the curiosity and  exploration  behavior  of mice.

The results of this study revealed that nitrazepam may possess antidepressant-like properties and this effect is dependent to potassium channels in   both FST and TST.