Intranasal administration of nerve growth factor produces antidepressant-like effects in animals

Neurochem Res. 2010 Sep;35(9):1302-14. doi: 10.1007/s11064-010-0183-6. Epub 2010 Jun 3.


Many works showed that nerve growth factor (NGF) injected into the brain of animal model emerges potential antidepressant effects. However, this route of administration significantly restricts the application of NGF clinically. Here, we reported that intranasal NGF could provide an alternative to intraventricular injection. The behavioral analysis showed that intranasal administration of NGF reduced the immobility time in forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) in mice. Likewise, intranasal NGF increased the sucrose intake and the locomotor activity in rats after unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS). Furthermore, intranasal NGF increased the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine) in the frontal cortex and hippocampus and affected the number of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), c-fos and caspase-3 positive neurons in dentate gyrus of hippocampus in rats after UCMS. In summary, intranasal NGF had significant antidepressant effects on animal models of depression and this route of administration may provide a promising way to deliver NGF to brain in a therapeutic perspective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal*
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents* / pharmacology
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Biogenic Monoamines / analysis
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Hindlimb Suspension
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nerve Growth Factor* / administration & dosage
  • Nerve Growth Factor* / pharmacology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Sucrose


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Sucrose
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Caspase 3