Abnormal benzodiazepine receptor function in the depressive-like behavior of diabetic mice

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2005 Dec;82(4):615-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2005.10.017. Epub 2005 Dec 1.


We previously reported that streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice exhibited depressive-like behavior in the tail suspension test. In this study, we examined the involvement of benzodiazepine receptor functions in this diabetes-induced depressive-like behavior in mice. STZ-induced diabetes significantly increased the duration of immobility without affecting spontaneous locomotor activity. This increase was dose-dependently and significantly suppressed by a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, flumazenil (0.1-1 mg/kg, i.v.). However, flumazenil (0.1-1 mg/kg, i.v.) did not affect the duration of immobility in non-diabetic mice. Furthermore, flumazenil (1 mg/kg, i.v.) had no significant effect on spontaneous locomotor activity in either non-diabetic or diabetic mice. The benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist methyl beta-carboline-3-carboxylate (beta-CCM; 0.03-0.3 mg/kg, i.v.) dose-dependently and significantly increased the duration of immobility in non-diabetic mice, but not in diabetic mice. beta-CCM (0.3 mg/kg, i.v.) significantly suppressed spontaneous locomotor activity in non-diabetic mice, but not in diabetic mice. These results indicate that diabetic mice may have enhanced negative allosteric modulation by benzodiazepine receptor ligands, such as diazepam binding inhibitors, under stressful conditions, but not free-moving conditions, and this abnormal function of benzodiazepine receptors may cause, at least in part, the expression of depressive-like behavior in diabetic mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Carbolines / pharmacology
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Flumazenil / pharmacology
  • Hindlimb Suspension
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid


  • Carbolines
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Flumazenil
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid methyl ester