NMDA receptor involvement in antidepressant-like effect of pioglitazone in the forced swimming test in mice.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 13145-784, Tehran, Iran.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.06). 05/2012; 223(3):345-55. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-012-2722-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previously, we showed that pioglitazone exerts its antidepressant-like effect through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma receptors and demonstrated the possible involvement of calcium-dependent nitric oxide synthase inhibitors. Based upon the in vitro results, pioglitazone reduces N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated calcium currents in hippocampal neurons.
In this study, we evaluated the involvement of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) on the antidepressant-like effect of pioglitazone in the forced swimming test (FST) in mice.
After the assessment of locomotor activity in the open-field test, mice were forced to swim individually and the immobility time of the last 4 min was evaluated. Pioglitazone was administered orally with doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg 4 h before FST. To assess the involvement of NMDARs in the possible antidepressant-like effect of pioglitazone, a selective glutamate receptor agonist, NMDA (75 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [i.p.] or 20 ng/mouse, intracerebroventricularly [i.c.v.]), was administered before pioglitazone (20 mg/kg). To further determine a possible role of NMDARs in this effect, a noncompetitive antagonist of the NMDA, MK-801 (0.05 mg/kg, i.p. or 100 ng/mouse, i.c.v.), was coadministered with pioglitazone (10 mg/kg) 4 h prior to FST.
Pioglitazone (20 mg/kg) administered 4 h prior to FST significantly reduced the immobility time. Coadministration of the noneffective doses of pioglitazone and MK-801 revealed an antidepressant-like effect in FST. Moreover, NMDA significantly reversed the antidepressant-like effect of pioglitazone administered 4 h prior to FST.
The antidepressant-like effect of pioglitazone in the FST is mediated partly through NMDAR signaling. This study provides a new approach for the treatment of depression.

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