Brain research

alpha(1A)- and alpha(1B)-adrenergic receptors differentially modulate antidepressant-like behavior in the mouse.

PMID 19540213


Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drugs are used for the treatment of chronic depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety-related disorders. Chronic use of TCA drugs increases the expression of alpha(1)-adrenergic receptors (alpha(1)-ARs). Yet, it is unclear whether increased alpha(1)-AR expression contributes to the antidepressant effects of these drugs or if this effect is unrelated to their therapeutic benefit. In this study, mice expressing constitutively active mutant alpha(1A)-ARs (CAM alpha(1A)-AR) or CAM alpha(1B)-ARs were used to examine the effects of alpha(1A)- and alpha(1B)-AR signaling on rodent behavioral models of depression, OCD, and anxiety. CAM alpha(1A)-AR mice, but not CAM alpha(1B)-AR mice, exhibited antidepressant-like behavior in the tail suspension test and forced swim test. This behavior was reversed by prazosin, a selective alpha(1)-AR inverse agonist, and mimicked by chronically treating wild type mice with cirazoline, an alpha(1A)-AR agonist. Marble burying behavior, commonly used to model OCD in rodents, was significantly decreased in CAM alpha(1A)-AR mice but not in CAM alpha(1B)-AR mice. In contrast, no significant differences in anxiety-related behavior were observed between wild type, CAM alpha(1A)-AR, and CAM alpha(1B)-AR animals in the elevated plus maze and light/dark box. This is the first study to demonstrate that alpha(1A)- and alpha(1B)-ARs differentially modulate antidepressant-like behavior in the mouse. These data suggest that alpha(1A)-ARs may be a useful therapeutic target for the treatment of depression.

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Cirazoline hydrochloride, solid
C13H16N2O · HCl