Effects of (+)-8-OH-DPAT on the duration of immobility during the forced swim test and hippocampal cell proliferation in ACTH-treated rats

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In the present study, we examined the effect of ACTH on the immobilization of rats in the forced swim test and hippocampal cell proliferation after administration of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, R-(+)-8-hydroxy-2-di-n-propylamino tetralin ((+)-8-OH-DPAT). Chronic treatment with (+)-8-OH-DPAT (0.01–0.1 mg/kg, s.c.) significantly decreased the duration of immobility in saline- and ACTH-treated rats. Chronic administration of ACTH caused a significant decrease in hippocampal cell proliferation. However, (+)-8-OH-DPAT significantly normalized cell proliferation in ACTH-treated rats. We then investigated the effects of (+)-8-OH-DPAT on the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cyclin D1 (elements of cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB)–BDNF and Wnt signaling pathways, respectively) in the hippocampus of saline- and ACTH-treated rats. ACTH treatment significantly decreased the expression of cyclin D1, while treatment with (+)-8-OH-DPAT normalized the expression of cyclin D1 in ACTH-treated rats. However, the expression of BDNF did not change in either saline- or ACTH-treated rats. These findings suggest that the antidepressant effects of (+)-8-OH-DPAT in treatment-resistant animals may be attributed to an enhancement of hippocampal cell proliferation, at least in part due to an enhancement of cyclin D1 expression.

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