Antidepressant-like effect of sildenafil through oxytocin-dependent cyclic AMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation

Department of Physiology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.
Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.36). 11/2011; 200:13-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.11.001
Source: PubMed


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.

1 Follower
5 Reads
  • Source
    • "These behavioral deficits can be reversed by antidepressant treatments [30]. 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 [31] [32]. 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 [33]. "
    [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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Behavioural brain research
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
  • Source
    • "activity of some antidepressant drugs in the forced swim test were also reported recently (Matsushita et al., 2012; Socała et al., 2012). There are also few studies which demonstrate the influence of sildenafil on aggressive (Dadomo et al., 2011; Hotchkiss et al., 2005) and anxiety (Kurt et al., 2004; Volke et al., 2003) behavior in animal studies. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sildenafil, a selective phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, has recently been reported to affect convulsant activity in some animal models of seizures and epilepsy. Moreover, its influence on the protective activity of some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) was also noted. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of sildenafil on the anticonvulsant potential of gabapentin (GBP) and vigabatrin (VGB) in the timed intravenous (i.v.) pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) test in mice. The chimney test, the passive avoidance task and the grip strength test were used to estimate some possible side effects caused by the studied AEDs and their combinations with sildenafil. Total brain and free plasma concentrations of GBP and VGB were determined to evaluate the characteristics of interactions. Our studies revealed that GBP (25-100 mg/kg) increases the threshold for the forelimb tonic extension, whereas VGB raises thresholds both, for myoclonic (200-600 mg/kg) and generalized clonic (400-600 mg/kg) seizures in the used model of seizures. GBP at sub-effective dose of 12.5 mg/kg co-administered with sildenafil at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg significantly increases the threshold for tonic seizures in the i.v. PTZ test in mice. Combination of sub-effective dose of VGB (200 mg/kg) with sildenafil at a dose of 5mg/kg also showed significant anticonvulsant activity against clonic seizures. The studied AEDs and their combinations with sildenafil did not produce any changes in the motor coordination, long-term memory and muscular strength in mice. Sildenafil did not influence total brain and free plasma concentrations of GBP and VGB. Interactions between the studied AEDs and sildenafil were pharmacodynamic in nature and for that reason they are worthy of consideration in the clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Show more