Synergistic effect of uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists and antidepressant drugs in the forced swimming test in rats.

Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, PL 31-343 Kraków, Poland.
Neuropharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.82). 07/2002; 42(8):1024-30. DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3908(02)00055-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In spite of intensive research, the problem of treating antidepressant-resistant depressive patients has not yet been solved. The authors previously reported that combined administration of imipramine and the uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist amantadine reduced immobility time in the forced swimming test in rats to a much greater extent than either treatment alone. The present paper investigates the possibility of synergistic interactions between three antidepressants (imipramine, venlafaxine, fluoxetine) with three uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists (amantadine, memantine and neramexane). Most combinations resulted in synergistic (hyperadditive) antidepressive-like effects in the forced swim test. Most interesting was the observation that fluoxetine, which was inactive when given alone, showed a positive effect when combined with amantadine (10 and 20 mg/kg), memantine (2.5 and 5 mg/kg) or neramexane (2.5 and 5 mg/kg). The specificity of these observations is supported by control open field studies, which demonstrated no significant increase, or even a decrease in general locomotion after coadministration of the compounds. The present results suggest that the combination of traditional antidepressant drugs and NMDA receptor antagonists may produce enhanced antidepressive effects, and this is of particular relevance for antidepressant-resistant patients.

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