Evidence for the involvement of the monoaminergic system in the antidepressant-like effect of magnesium

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Mar 17;33(2):235-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.11.007. Epub 2008 Nov 27.


Literature data has shown that acute administration of magnesium reduces immobility time in the mouse forced swimming test (FST), which suggests potential antidepressant activity in humans. However, its mechanism of action is not completely understood. Thus, this study is aimed at investigating the antidepressant-like action of magnesium and the possible involvement of the monoaminergic system in its effect in the FST. The immobility time in the FST was significantly reduced by magnesium chloride administration (30-100 mg/kg, i.p.) without accompanying changes in ambulation when assessed in an open-field test. The pre-treatment of mice with NAN-190 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p. a 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist), WAY100635 (0.1 mg/kg, s.c., a selective 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist), ritanserin (4 mg/kg, i.p., a 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor antagonist), ketanserin (5 mg/kg, a preferential 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonist), prazosin (1 mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist), yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist), haloperidol (0.2 mg/kg, i.p., a non selective dopaminergic receptor antagonist), SCH23390 (0.05 mg/kg, s.c., a dopamine D(1) receptor antagonist) or sulpiride (50 mg/kg, i.p., a dopamine D(2) receptor antagonist) 30 min before the administration of magnesium chloride (30 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly prevented its anti-immobility effect in the FST. Moreover, the administration of sub-effective doses of fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p., serotonin reuptake inhibitor), imipramine (5 mg/kg, i.p., a mixed serotonergic noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor), bupropion (1 mg/kg, i.p., dopamine reuptake inhibitor) was able to potentiate the action of sub-effective doses of magnesium chloride. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence indicating that the antidepressant-like effect of magnesium in the FST is dependent on its interaction with the serotonergic (5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A/2C) receptors), noradrenergic (alpha(1)- and alpha(2)- receptors) and dopaminergic (dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptors) systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents*
  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Magnesium Chloride / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Swimming / psychology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine