Oxytocin acts as an antidepressant in two animal models of depression

Life Sci. 1987 Oct 5;41(14):1725-30. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(87)90600-x.


In the behavioral despair test in mice, oxytocin, i.p. injected 60 min before testing, significantly reduced the duration of immobility at doses of 0.250-1.0 mg/Kg; the effect being similar to that of imipramine (7.5-30 mg/Kg i.p.). A more powerful effect was obtained with a 10-day treatment schedule. In the learned helplessness test, oxytocin (0.500 mg/Kg/day i.p. for 8 days) significantly reduced the escape failures and the latency to escape, the effect being even more intense than that of imipramine (20 mg/Kg/day i.p. for 8 days). These results show a new behavioral effect of oxytocin, and further support its role of CNS regulatory peptide.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Escape Reaction
  • Female
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity
  • Oxytocin / therapeutic use*
  • Rats


  • Oxytocin
  • Imipramine