Deakin University

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Brain antioxidant effect of mirtazapine and reversal of sedation by its combination with alpha-lipoic acid in a model of depression induced by corticosterone

Version 2 2024-06-13, 16:56
Version 1 2023-10-23, 02:38
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 16:56 authored by TDQ Oliveira, CNSD Sousa, GS Vasconcelos, LC de Sousa, AA de Oliveira, CFV Patrocínio, IDS Medeiros, JER Honório Júnior, M Maes, D Macedo, SMM Vasconcelos
Background Depression is accompanied by activated neuro-oxidative and neuro-nitrosative pathways, while targeting these pathways has clinical efficacy in depression. This study aimed to investigate the effects of mirtazapine (MIRT) alone and combined with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) against corticosterone (CORT) induced behavioral and oxidative alterations. Methods Male mice received vehicle or CORT 20 mg/kg during 14 days. From the 15th to 21st days they were divided in groups administered: vehicle, MIRT 3 mg/kg or the combinations MIRT+ALA100 or MIRT+ALA200. On the 21st day of treatment, the animals were subjected to behavioral tests. Twenty-four hours after the last drug administration hippocampus (HC) and striatum (ST) were dissected for the determination reduced glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation (LP) and nitrite levels. Results CORT induced anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors as observed by increased immobility time in the tail suspension test and decreased sucrose consumption. MIRT or MIRT+ALA are effective in reversing anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors induced by CORT. CORT and MIRT alone prolonged sleeping time and this effect was reversed by MIRT+ALA. CORT significantly increased LP, which was reversed by MIRT or MIRT+ALA. Nitrite levels were increased in CORT-treated animals and reversed by MIRT+ALA200 (HC), MIRT or MIRT+ALA (ST). Limitation A relative small sample size and lack of a washout period between drug administration and behavioral testing. Conclusions MIRT or MIRT+ALA reverse CORT-induced anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors probably via their central antioxidant effects. Augmentation of MIRT with ALA may reverse sedation, an important side effect of MIRT. Randomized controlled studies are needed to examine the clinical efficacy of this combination in human depression.



Journal of Affective Disorders






Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal