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Esketamine and rapastinel, but not imipramine, have antidepressant-like effect in a treatment-resistant animal model of depression

  • Vitor Silva Pereira (a1), Sâmia R.L. Joca (a1) (a2) (a3), Brian H. Harvey (a4) (a5), Betina Elfving (a1) and Gregers Wegener (a1)...

Abstract

Objectives:

Treatment-resistance to antidepressants is a major problem in the pharmacotherapy of major depressive disorder (MDD). Unfortunately, only a few animal models are suitable for studying treatment-resistant depression, among them repeated treatment with Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) appears to be useful to mimic treatment-resistance to monoaminergic antidepressants. Therefore, the present work aimed to investigate the effectiveness of s-ketamine and rapastinel (formerly GLYX13), modulators of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in ACTH-treated animals.

Methods:

Naïve male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to repeated subcutaneous injections with ACTH (100 µg/0.1 ml/rat/day) for 14 days and drug treatment on the test day (open field and forced swim test) with imipramine, s-ketamine or rapastinel. In addition, assessment of plasma levels of corticosterone and ACTH was carried out.

Results:

We found that rats repeatedly treated with ACTH for 14 days responded to single injections with s-ketamine (15 mg/kg) and rapastinel (10 mg/kg), but failed to respond to imipramine (15 mg/kg). In the plasma, the levels of corticosterone and ACTH were increased after 14 days of daily treatment with ACTH, independently of the treatment.

Conclusion:

The present data confirm development of a resistance to treatment following chronic ACTH administration. In addition, the study confirms the possible effectiveness of s-ketamine and rapastinel as treatment options in treatment-resistant depression. Moreover, it highlights the importance of the glutamatergic system in the neurobiology of depression. Further studies are necessary to evaluate how repeated treatment with ACTH leads to a depressed condition resistant to monoaminergic antidepressants.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Gregers Wegener, E-mail: wegener@clin.au.dk

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Esketamine and rapastinel, but not imipramine, have antidepressant-like effect in a treatment-resistant animal model of depression

  • Vitor Silva Pereira (a1), Sâmia R.L. Joca (a1) (a2) (a3), Brian H. Harvey (a4) (a5), Betina Elfving (a1) and Gregers Wegener (a1)...

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