SSRI or CRF antagonism partially ameliorate depressive-like behavior after adolescent social defeat

Behav Brain Res. 2014 Aug 15:270:295-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.05.035. Epub 2014 May 24.


Depression and anxiety during adolescence are complex disorders due to persistent effects on physiology and behavior. Selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are currently the most widely used pharmacological intervention for depression. Corticotropin-releasing factor one (CRF1) receptor antagonists represent a novel class of compounds that may have efficacy for depressive and anxiety disorders. This study used an animal model of chronic adolescent stress to determine the efficacy of the SSRI fluoxetine, and a novel CRF1 receptor antagonist, GSK876008, on prevention of the behavioral effects of chronic adolescent stress. Male rats were exposed to chronic social defeat stress, fluoxetine, and/or GSK876008 from postnatal day 28-50. Chronic stress-induced depressive-like behaviors were partially attenuated by either concurrent fluoxetine or GSK876008. Fluoxetine blunted body mass gain in the adolescents exposed to chronic stress. The collective data demonstrate similar efficacy between a SSRI and a CRF1 receptor antagonist in the attenuation of stress-induced anhedonia but fewer side effects were observed in those rats treated with the CRF1 receptor antagonist. These data suggest that CRF1 receptor antagonists may be a viable alternative for treatment of depressive behaviors in adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescence; CRF; Depression; SSRI; Stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / psychology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Fluoxetine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Methylcellulose / analogs & derivatives
  • Methylcellulose / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy*


  • GSK876008
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • CRF receptor type 1
  • Methylcellulose