Antidepressant-like effects of the delta-opioid receptor agonist SNC80 ([(+)-4-[(alphaR)-alpha-[(2S,5R)-2,5-dimethyl-4-(2-propenyl)-1-piperazinyl]-(3-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-N,N-diethylbenzamide) in an olfactory bulbectomized rat model

Brain Res. 2008 May 7;1208:160-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.095. Epub 2007 Sep 4.


The responses of olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) rats to antidepressant treatment are similar to those of depressed patients since chronic administration of an antidepressant reverses OBX-induced behavioral and physiological changes. Previously, using several animal models, it was demonstrated that single treatment with delta-opioid receptor agonists produced an antidepressant-like effect. This study examined the antidepressant effects resulting from subchronic exposure for 8 days to the delta-opioid receptor agonist SNC80 in an OBX rat model of depression. The olfactory bulbs were removed by suction. The emotionality of rats was measured by scoring their responses to given stimuli, i.e., attack, startle, struggle, and fight responses. The OBX rats chronically treated with vehicle for 7 days at 14 days following surgery showed a significant increase in emotionality score and a decrease in the time spent and entries in the open arm of a plus-maze. In the case of OBX rats, these changes were dose- and time-dependently reversed by chronic SNC80 treatment (1-10 mg/kg, s.c.) for 7 days, as same as desipramine (10 mg/kg, i.p.). Moreover, the concentration of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-HIAA in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala were decreased in OBX rats, and these changes were also normalized by SNC80 treatment, rather than desipramine treatment. In addition, SNC80 also significantly reversed the loss of TH-positive cells produced by OBX in the dorsal raphe. In conclusion, we demonstrated that subchronic SNC80 treatment could completely reverse OBX-induced behavioral abnormalities and defects in serotonergic function.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Benzamides / pharmacology*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / pathology
  • Desipramine / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Olfactory Bulb / injuries
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiopathology*
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / metabolism


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Benzamides
  • Piperazines
  • 4-(alpha-(4-allyl-2,5-dimethyl-1-piperazinyl)-3-methoxybenzyl)-N,N-diethylbenzamide
  • Serotonin
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase
  • Desipramine