The antidepressant-like effect of inosine in the FST is associated with both adenosine A1 and A 2A receptors

Purinergic Signal. 2013 Sep;9(3):481-6. doi: 10.1007/s11302-013-9361-8. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Inosine is an endogenous purine nucleoside, which is formed during the breakdown of adenosine. The adenosinergic system was already described as capable of modulating mood in preclinical models; we now explored the effects of inosine in two predictive models of depression: the forced swim test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). Mice treated with inosine displayed higher anti-immobility in the FST (5 and 50 mg/kg, intraperitoneal route (i.p.)) and in the TST (1 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) when compared to vehicle-treated groups. These antidepressant-like effects started 30 min and lasted for 2 h after intraperitoneal administration of inosine and were not accompanied by any changes in the ambulatory activity in the open-field test. Both adenosine A1 and A2A receptor antagonists prevented the antidepressant-like effect of inosine in the FST. In addition, the administration of an adenosine deaminase inhibitor (1 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) also caused an antidepressant-like effect in the FST. These results indicate that inosine possesses an antidepressant-like effect in the FST and TST probably through the activation of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors, further reinforcing the potential of targeting the purinergic system to the management of mood disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Depression / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Inosine / metabolism*
  • Inosine / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1 / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / metabolism*
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A
  • Inosine