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Antidepressant effects of nicotine and fluoxetine in an animal model of depression induced by neonatal treatment with clomipramine.

Author(s): Vazquez-Palacios G, Bonilla-Jaime H, Velazquez-Moctezuma J

Affiliation(s): Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Reproductive Biology, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Mexico City C.P. 09340. Mexico. jvm@xanum.uam.mx

Publication date & source: 2005-01, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry., 29(1):39-46.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

The association between smoking and depression has been widely investigated. Most of these reports suggest that nicotine (NIC) may act as an antidepressant. To examine the suggested antidepressant effect of nicotine and its possible interaction with the serotonergic system, we assessed the effect of nicotine and fluoxetine (FLX) in an animal model of depression induced by neonatal treatment with clomipramine (CLI) and submitted to the forced swim test (FST). Results corroborated that CLI-treated rats displayed higher levels of immobility. After the administration of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg sc) acutely (1 day), subchonically (7 days), and chronically (14 days), CLI-treated rats significantly reduced the immobility and increased swimming without affecting climbing. These effects were similar to the effects induced for subchronic and chronic administration of the antidepressant fluoxetine (5 mg/kg sc), a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor. However, fluoxetine failed to affect immobility when it was administered acutely. No synergism was observed when both drugs were administered simultaneously. The present results further corroborate the antidepressant action of nicotine and fluoxetine. The increase of swimming during the FST has been linked to an increase of serotonergic activity. Thus, it could be possible that the antidepressant action of nicotine is mediated by the serotonergic system.

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