The Antidepressant-Like Effect Induced by sigma(1)-Receptor Agonists and Neuroactive Steroids in Mice Submitted to the Forced Swimming Test
Urani A, Roman FJ, Phan VL, Su TP, Maurice T.
Behavioral Neuropharmacology Group,
Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale Unite 336,
Montpellier, France.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2001 Sep; 298(3):1269-79


The interaction of neuroactive steroids with the sigma(1)-receptor was investigated in Swiss mice submitted to the forced swimming test. The sigma(1)-agonists igmesine and (+)-SKF-10,047 and the steroid dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) showed some antidepressant-like activity by shortening the immobility time, these effects being blocked by the sigma(1)-antagonist BD1047 or progesterone. The sigma(1)-agonist PRE-084 or pregnenolone sulfate failed to affect the immobility time. In adrenalectomized/castrated (AdX/CX) mice, the effects of igmesine and DHEAS were significantly potentiated, and PRE-084 or pregnenolone sulfate induced significant decreases of immobility time. The augmented effects in AdX/CX were fully blocked by BD1047. The effects of the classical antidepressants, desipramine or fluoxetine, were unchanged in AdX/CX mice. The effect of stress on the sigma(1)-receptor binding and neurosteroid levels was then examined in different brain structures, in terms of in vivo (+)-[(3)H]SKF-10,047 binding to sigma(1)-sites and neurosteroids levels. In the hippocampus, but not in the cortex or cerebellum, inhibition of in vivo (+)-[(3)H]SKF-10,047 binding was measured in parallel to the extent of progesterone levels according to the endocrine conditions. These data confirmed the antidepressant ability of sigma(1)-receptor agonists and revealed that the endogenous steroidal levels tonically interfere with the efficacy of the sigma(1)-system. It was observed that local modifications in progesterone levels are directly related to the changes of in vivo sigma(1)-binding. Such observations may be of major importance in view of the therapeutic use of selective sigma(1)-agonists in depression.
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Sigma agonists and pain
Igmesine and calcium mobilisation
Sigma 1 receptors and antidepressants
Igmesine: sigma ligand and antidepressant

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