The effects of tricyclic and 'atypical' antidepressants on spontaneous locomotor activity in rodents

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. Summer 1986;10(2):115-21. doi: 10.1016/0149-7634(86)90022-9.


With the exception of amineptin, buproprion and nomifensine all tricyclic and 'atypical' antidepressants have been reported to reduce spontaneous motor activity in rodents, after both acute and chronic administration. However, with the diversity of chemical actions of these drugs it is unlikely that a single neurochemical mechanism is underlying this one behavioral effect. These widespread sedative effects have implications for interpreting behavioral changes in other test situations, since sedation generally occurs at doses that fall within the dose-range effective in other tests. We also review the effects on spontaneous motor activity of withdrawal from chronic antidepressant treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology*
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic