Inhibition of the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway mediates the antidepressant effects of ketamine in rats in the forced swimming test.

TitleInhibition of the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway mediates the antidepressant effects of ketamine in rats in the forced swimming test.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsZhang G-F, Wang N, Shi J-Y, Xu S-X, Li X-M, Ji M-H, Zuo Z-Y, Zhou Z-Q, Yang J-J
JournalPharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior
Volume110
Pagination8-12
Date Published2013 Sep
Abstract

Converging evidence shows that the acute administration of a sub-anaesthetic dose ketamine produces fast-acting and robust antidepressant properties in patients suffering from major depressive disorder. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The present study aimed to investigate the role of the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway in the antidepressant effects of ketamine in rats performing the forced swimming test (FST). Ketamine (10 mg/kg) significantly decreased immobility times in the FST and the activities of total nitric oxide synthases (T-NOS), inducible NOS (iNOS), and endothelial NOS (eNOS) in the rat hippocampus. Interestingly, the plasma activities of T-NOS, iNOS, and eNOS increased after administration of ketamine. Furthermore, the activities of neuronal NOS (nNOS) did not change significantly in either the hippocampus or plasma after ketamine administration. The antidepressant effects of ketamine were prevented by pre-treatment with l-arginine (750 mg/kg). Pre-treatment with the NOS inhibitor L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester at a sub-antidepressant dose of 50 mg/kg and ketamine at a sub-antidepressant dose of 3 mg/kg reduced immobility time in the FST compared to treatment with either drug alone. None of the drugs affected crossing and rearing scores in the open field test. These results suggest that the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway is involved in the antidepressant effects of ketamine observed in rats in the FST and this involvement is characterised by the inhibition of brain T-NOS, iNOS, and eNOS activities.

DOI10.1002/cncr.28410
Alternate JournalPharmacol. Biochem. Behav.