The present study was designed to evaluate the antidepressant potential of 5-HT3 receptor antagonist N-n-propyl-3-ethoxyquinoxaline-2-carboxamide (6n). The compound '6n' with optimum log P and pA 2 value identified from a series of compounds synthesized in our laboratory was subjected to forced Swim Test (FST) (1, 2, and 4 mg/kg, i.p) and Tail Suspension Test (TST) (1, 2, and 4 mg/kg, i.p.). The compound '6n' significantly reduced the duration of immobility in mice without affecting the baseline locomotion. Moreover, '6n' (2 mg/kg, i.p.) potentiated the 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)-induced head twitch responses in mice and '6n' at tested dose (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) reversed the reserpine-induced hypothermia in rats. In interaction studies of '6n' with various standard drugs/ligands using FST, '6n' (1 mg/kg, i.p.) potentiated the antidepressant effect of venlafaxine (4 and 8 mg/kg, i.p.) and fluoxetine (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.). Additionally, '6n' (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) influenced the effect of harmane (5 mg/ kg, i.p.) as well as reversed the effect of parthenolide (1 mg/kg, i.p.) by reducing the duration of immobility in FST. Furthermore, '6n' (1 mg/kg, i.p.) potentiated the effect of bupropion (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.) in TST. Chronic '6n' (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) treatment attenuated the behavioral abnormalities in olfactory bulbectomized rats. In conclusion, these various findings reiterated the antidepressant-like effects of '6n' in behavioral models of depression.
Keywords: 5-HT3 receptor antagonists; forced swim test; head twitch; reserpine; tail suspension test.