Evidence of a possible role of altered angiotensin
function in the treatment, but not etiology, of depression

by
Gard PR, Mandy A, Sutcliffe MA.
Faculty of Health, University of Brighton,
Moulsecoomb, United Kingdom.
Biol Psychiatry 1999 Apr 15;45(8):1030-4


ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are reportedly effective in the treatment of depression; furthermore, antidepressants decrease angiotensin function. It appears therefore that reduced angiotensin function may be important in the treatment of depression. The aims of this study were to elucidate the actions of antidepressants on angiotensin receptors; to investigate the antidepressant potential of an angiotensin antagonist; and to study angiotensin receptors in depressed puerperal women. METHODS: The effects of antidepressant drugs on angiotensin receptors and the relationship between mood and platelet receptors in puerperal women were investigated using radioligand binding. The antidepressant potential of the angiotensin antagonist losartan was assessed using the mouse forced swim test. RESULTS: Desipramine, but neither fluoxetine nor tranycypromine, displaced angiotensin from its receptor; however, there was no significant relationship between receptor number and depressed mood. In the forced swim test losartan was shown to possess antidepressant like activity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that antidepressants differ in the mechanism by which they reduce angiotensin function, but the link between antidepressants and angiotensin is reiterated by the demonstration that losartan possesses antidepressant like activity. There is, however, no evidence of abnormal angiotensin receptors in women with depressed mood postpartum.
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