ABSTRACT: In order to explore the possible common action mechanisms of three kinds of classical antidepressants, inhibition of drugs on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-Ca(2)-nitric oxide synthase (NOS) signal pathway was observed. With 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, classical antidepressants, desipramine (1, 10 microM), fluoxetine (0.625-10 microM) or moclobemide (2.5, 10 microM) antagonized NMDA 300 M induced-lesion in PC12 cells. Using fura-2/AM (acetoxymethyl ester) labelling assay, desipramine or fluoxetine at doses 1, 5 microM attenuated the intracellular Ca(2) overload induced by NMDA 200 microM for 24 h in PC12 cells. Meanwhile, using confocal microscope, it was also found that desipramine 5 microM, fluoxetine 2.5 microM or moclobemide 10 microM decreased the NMDA 20 microM induced intracellular Ca(2) overload in primarily cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, desipramine (1, 5 microM), fluoxetine (1, 5 microM) or moclobemide (2.5, 10 microM) significantly inhibited NOS activity in NMDA (300 microM) treated PC12 cells for 4h. In summary, we suggest that inhibition on the function of NMDA-Ca(2) -NOS signal pathway appears to be one of the common actions for antidepressants despite their remarkably different structures, which is expected to have great implication for the evaluation and screening in vitro of new antidepressants.
Journal of Psychopharmacology 10/2006; 20(5):629-35. · 3.04 Impact Factor