Antidepressant-like effect of sildenafil through oxytocin-dependent cyclic AMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation
Oxytocin (OT) levels in plasma increase during sexual response and are significantly lower in patients with depression. A drug for the treatment of sexual dysfunction, sildenafil, enhances the electrically evoked release of OT from the posterior pituitary. In this study, we showed that sildenafil had an antidepressant-like effect through activation of an OT signaling pathway. Application of sildenafil reduced depression-related behavior in male mice. The antidepressant-like effect was blocked by an OT receptor (OTR) antagonist and was absent in OTR knockout (KO) mice. Sildenafil increased the phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the hippocampus. The OTR antagonist inhibited sildenafil-induced CREB phosphorylation and sildenafil had no effect on CREB phosphorylation in OTR KO mice. These results suggest sildenafil to have an antidepressant-like effect through the activation of OT signaling and to be a promising drug for the treatment of depression.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibition of phosphodiesterase-4 or 5 (PDE4 or PDE5) increases cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)- or cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), respectively, which activates cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)/brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/neuropeptide VGF (non-acryonimic) signaling and produces antidepressant-like effects on behavior. However, causal links among these actions have not been established. In the present study, mice were evaluated for the effects of etazolate and sildenafil, the inhibitor of PDE4 or PDE5, respectively, on depressive-like behavior induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) in the forced-swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST), in the presence or absence of the inhibitor of protein kinase A (PKA) or protein kinase G (PKG) via intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusions. The levels of cAMP, cGMP and expression of pCREB, CREB, BDNF and VGF in both the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex were determined. The results showed that etazolate at 5.0 mg/kg or sildenafil at 30 mg/kg significantly reversed CUMS-induced depressive-like behavior; the effects were paralleled with the increased levels of cAMP/pCREB/BDNF/VGF or cGMP/pCREB/BDNF/VGF signaling, respectively. These effects were completely abolished following inhibition of PKA or PKG, respectively. The results suggest that inhibition of PDE4 by etazolate or PDE5 by sildenafil produced antidepressant-like effects in CUMS-treated animals via cAMP or cGMP signaling, which shares the common downstream signal pathway of CREB/BDNF/VGF.0Comments 3Citations
- "Thus, activation of cAMP or cGMP signaling by means of PDE inhibition appears to be a viable and tractable means for producing antidepressant activity. While it has been shown that treatment with etazolate or sildenafil produces antidepressant-like effects in rodents (Jindal et al. 2012Jindal et al. , 2013a Socała et al. 2012; Matsushita et al. 2012), the ability of etazolate and sildenafil to produce antidepressantlike effects under CUMS and the mechanisms have not been determined. In the present study, we used CUMS as the depression model; this is widely used in preclinical studies of antidepressants and pathophysiology of depression (Katz et al. 1981; Jindal et al. 2012 Jindal et al. , 2013a). "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stress occurs in everyday life, but the relationship between stress and the onset or development of depression/anxiety remains unknown. Increasing evidence suggests that the impairment of antioxidant defense and the neuronal cell death are important in the process of emotional disorders. Chronic stress impairs the homeostasis of antioxidants/oxidation, which results in the aberrant stimulation of the cell cycle proteins where cGMP-PKG signaling is thought to have an inhibitory role. Phosphodiesterase 2 (PDE2) is linked to cGMP-PKG signaling and highly expressed in the limbic brain regions including hippocampus and amygdala, which may play important roles in the treatment of depression and anxiety. To address the possible effects of PDE2 inhibitors on depression-/anxiety-like behaviors and the underlying mechanisms, Bay 60-7550 (0.75, 1.5 and 3mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 30min before chronic stress. The results suggested that Bay 60-7550 not only restored the behavioral changes but also regulated Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels differentially in hippocampus and amygdala, which were increased in the hippocampus while decreased in the amygdala. It was also significant that Bay 60-7550 regulated the abnormalities of pro- and anti-apoptotic components, such as Bax, Caspase 3 and Bcl-2, and the indicator of PKG signaling characterized by pVASP(ser239), in these two brain regions. The results suggested that Bay 60-7550 is able to alleviate oxidative stress and mediate part of the apoptotic machinery in neuronal cells possibly through SOD-cGMP/PKG-anti-apoptosis signaling and that inhibition of PDE2 may represent a novel therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety.0Comments 4Citations
- "These behavioral deficits can be reversed by antidepressant treatments . Previous studies suggested that inhibitors of PDEs, such as PDE4 and PDE5, ameliorate stress-related depression-and anxiety-like behaviors through regulating the cAMP or cGMP signaling  . PDE2 is enriched in the limbic brain regions and adrenal cortex, which play important roles in regulating the negative feedback inhibition of HPA axis in stress-induced disorders . "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sildenafil, a selective phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor (PDE5), has been recently reported to have both pro- and anticonvulsant action in various experimental models of seizures and epilepsy. Furthermore, it affects anticonvulsant action of some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in mice seizure tests and both pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interactions were noted. The present study was carried out to investigate influence of sildenafil on the threshold for 6 Hz-induced psychomotor seizures in mice. Effect of sildenafil on activity of some AEDs, i.e., phenobarbital (PB), clonazepam (CZP), ethosuximide (ETS), valproic acid (VPA), tiagabine (TGB), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and levetiracetam (LEV), in 6 Hz test was also examined. Moreover, combination of sildenafil with LEV was investigated in terms of influence on motor coordination (determined by the chimney test), muscular strength (evaluated in the grip-strength test) and long-term memory (assessed in the passive avoidance task) in mice. To determine type of pharmacological interaction between sildenafil and LEV, free plasma and total brain concentrations of this AED were determined by LC-MS/MS method. Sildenafil at a dose ranging from 10 to 40 mg/kg statistically increased psychomotor seizure threshold in mice. Moreover, sildenafil enhanced the anticonvulsant action of all the studied AEDs in this test. Interactions between this PDE5 inhibitor and PB, CZP, ETS, TGB and OXC seem to be pharmacodynamic. Since sildenafil increased free plasma and total brain concentration of LEV, interactions between these drugs have pharmacokinetic nature. This kind of interaction was also noted between sildenafil and VPA. Neither LEV (2.32 mg/kg) nor its co-administration with sildenafil (40 mg/kg) produced any significant changes in motor coordination, muscular strength and long-term memory in mice.0Comments 8Citations
- "The presence of PDE5 in some brain regions and the ability of sildenafil to cross the blood–brain barrier cause that sildenafil influences many central nervous system-related effects (Uthayathas et al., 2007). Animal studies showed that sildenafil has antinociceptive (Huang et al., 2010; Park et al., 2011) and antidepressant (Matsushita et al., 2012) potential. Inhibition of PDE5 by sildenafil might be also a new therapeutic treatment in age-related memory impairment (Puzzo et al., 2009). "