[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol and nicotine are two very commonly abused legal substances. Although various hypotheses for such co-dependence have been suggested, it is not known whether the effects of alcohol and nicotine on mood behavior may also contribute to such co-abuse. Chronic exposure to high alcohol levels may lead to various neurochemical changes and precipitate depressive-like behavior. Nicotine, on the other hand, may exert an antidepressant-like effect. Here, we sought to determine whether nicotine may also block or mitigate the "depressogenic" effects of alcohol in a rat model. Moreover, since hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been strongly implicated in mood regulation and effectiveness of antidepressants, the level of this neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus was also evaluated. Adult male Wistar rats were injected (i.p.) with alcohol (1.0 g/kg), nicotine (0.3 mg/kg) or their combination once daily for 14 days. Controls received saline. The behavior of these rats in open field locomotor activity (LMA), the forced swim test (FST), a measure of helplessness, and sucrose intake, a measure of anhedonia were evaluated 16-18 h after the last injection. Chronic alcohol did not affect LMA, but increased immobility in FST and decreased sucrose consumption, suggesting a "depressogenic" effect. Nicotine by itself did not affect any of the measured behavior but blocked alcohol-induced changes in FST and sucrose intake. Parallel to the behavioral changes, chronic alcohol resulted in a significant decrease in hippocampal BDNF, which was normalized by nicotine. These findings suggest that the opposing effects of alcohol and nicotine on depressive-like behavior may contribute to their co-abuse.
Journal of drug and alcohol research. 07/2013; 2:235709.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preclinical as well as limited clinical studies indicate that ketamine, a non-competitive glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, may exert a quick and prolonged antidepressant effect. It has been postulated that ketamine action is due to inhibition of NMDA and stimulation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. Here, we sought to determine whether ketamine would exert antidepressant effects in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, a putative animal model of depression and whether this effect would be associated with changes in AMPA/NMDA receptor densities in the hippocampus. Adult female WKY rats and their control Wistar rats were subjected to acute and chronic ketamine doses and their locomotor activity (LMA) and immobility in the forced swim test (FST) were evaluated. Hippocampal AMPA and NMDA receptor densities were also measured following a chronic ketamine dose. Ketamine, both acutely (0.5-5.0 mg/kg i.p.) and chronically (0.5-2.5 mg/kg daily for 10 days) resulted in a dose-dependent and prolonged decrease in immobility in FST in WKY rats only, suggesting an antidepressant-like effect in this model. Chronic treatment with an effective dose of ketamine also resulted in an increase in AMPA/NMDA receptor density ratio in the hippocampus of WKY rats. LMA was not affected by any ketamine treatment in either strain. These results indicate a rapid and lasting antidepressant-like effect of a low ketamine dose in WKY rat model of depression. Moreover, the increase in AMPA/NMDA receptor density in the hippocampus could be a contributory factor to behavioral effects of ketamine. These findings suggest potential therapeutic benefit in simultaneous reduction of central NMDA and elevation of AMPA receptor function in treatment of depression.