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. 2014 Aug;26(2):190-206.
doi: 10.1007/s12640-014-9465-0. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Antidepressants and Changes in Concentration of Endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines in Rat Brain Structures

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Free PMC article

Antidepressants and Changes in Concentration of Endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines in Rat Brain Structures

Irena Smaga et al. Neurotox Res. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has recently been implicated in both the pathogenesis of depression and the action of antidepressants. Here, we investigated the effect of acutely or chronically administering antidepressants [imipramine (IMI) (15 mg/kg), escitalopram (ESC) (10 mg/kg), and tianeptine (10 mg/kg)] on the levels of both eCBs [anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)] and N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) [palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA)] in various rat brain regions. We also examined the ability of the acute and chronic administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) (a mucolytic drug; 100 mg/kg) or URB597 (a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor; 0.3 mg/kg), which have both elicited antidepressant activity in preclinical studies, to affect eCB and NAE levels. Next, we determined whether the observed effects are stable 10 days after the chronic administration of these drugs was halted. We report that the chronic administration of all investigated drugs increased AEA levels in the hippocampus and also increased both AEA and 2-AG levels in the dorsal striatum. NAE levels in limbic regions also increased after treatment with IMI (PEA/OEA), ESC (PEA), and NAC (PEA/OEA). Removing chronic ESC treatment for 10 days affected eCB and NAE levels in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, dorsal striatum, and cerebellum, while a similar tianeptine-free period enhanced accumbal NAE levels. All other drugs maintained their effects after the 10-day washout period. Therefore, the eCB system appears to play a significant role in the mechanism of action of clinically effective and potential antidepressants and may serve as a target for drug design and discovery.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
AEA levels in rat brain structures following acute and chronic drug/compound administration. AEA Anandamide, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
AEA levels in rat brain structures following chronic drug/compound administration and 10-day washout period. AEA anandamide, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
2-AG levels in rat brain structures following acute and chronic drug/compound administration. 2-AG 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
2-AG levels in rat brain structures following chronic drug/compound administration and 10-day washout period. 2-AG 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
PEA levels in rat brain structures following acute and chronic drug/compound administration. PEA Palmitoylethanolamide, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
PEA levels in rat brain structures following chronic drug/compound administration and 10-day washout period. PEA Palmitoylethanolamide, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
OEA levels in rat brain structures following acute and chronic drug/compound administration. OEA Oleoylethanolamide, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle
Fig. 8
Fig. 8
OEA levels in rat brain structures following chronic drug/compound administration and 10-day washout period. OEA Oleoylethanolamide, IMI(15) imipramine hydrochloride (15 mg/kg), ESC(10) escitalopram oxalate, TIA(10) tianeptine sodium, NAC(100) N-acetylcysteine, URB597(0.3) cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester, PFCTX prefrontal cortex, FCTX frontal cortex, HIP hippocampus, DSTR dorsal striatum, NAc nucleus accumbens, CER cerebellum. All data are expressed as the mean ± SEM. N = 8 rats/group. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001 versus corresponding vehicle

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