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Comparative Study
. 2008 Aug;199(2):137-50.
doi: 10.1007/s00213-008-1142-7. Epub 2008 May 22.

Insensitivity of NMRI Mice to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in the Tail Suspension Test Can Be Reversed by Co-Treatment With 5-hydroxytryptophan

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Comparative Study

Insensitivity of NMRI Mice to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in the Tail Suspension Test Can Be Reversed by Co-Treatment With 5-hydroxytryptophan

Jacob P R Jacobsen et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl). .

Abstract

Rationale: Exploring differences between mouse strains in drug effects in models of antidepressant-like activity may provide clues to the neurobiology of antidepressant responses.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore whether insensitivity to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in NMRI mice in the tail suspension test can be related to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) function.

Materials and methods: We compared NMRI and C57Bl/6 mice, a SSRI-sensitive strain, in the tail suspension test following citalopram, paroxetine, or fluoxetine and determined 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) densities, 5-HT tissue and extracellular levels, 5-HT synthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) genotypes and hypothermia induced by the 5-HT(1A) agonist 8-OH-DPAT. In NMRI mice, we tested if co-treatment with 5-HTP would increase 5-HT levels and confer SSRI sensitivity in the tail suspension test.

Results: C57Bl/6, but not NMRI, mice responded to SSRIs in the tail suspension test. 5-HTT densities in the frontal cortex and hippocampus were similar between the strains. NMRI mice had lower tissue 5-HT levels in these regions and decreased extracellular 5-HT in the frontal cortex at baseline and following citalopram. C57Bl/6 mice were more sensitive to 8-OH-DPAT-induced hypothermia. Both strains had the 1473C TPH2 genotype and similar 5-HT synthesis. In NMRI mice, 5-HTP co-treatment restored the tail suspension and extracellular 5-HT responses to SSRIs to levels equivalent to those seen in C57Bl/6 mice.

Conclusion: Low 5-HT function in NMRI mice may account for their insensitivity to SSRIs in the tail suspension test. As the tail suspension test is a predictor of clinical efficacy, the current data suggest that 5-HTP adjunct treatment may benefit SSRI treatment refractory patients.

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