European journal of pharmacology

ERK1/2 phosphorylation is involved in the antidepressant-like action of 2,5-diphenyl-3-(4-fluorophenylseleno)-selenophene in mice.

PMID 24797783


We investigated the antidepressant-like action of 5 compounds belonging to the selenophene class. The involvement of ERK and CREB activation in this action was also demonstrated. In the experiment 1, time-course and dose-response effect of H-DPS, CH3-DPS, Cl-DPS, F-DPS and CF3-DPS were accompanied in the mouse forced swimming test (FST). Firstly, animals received compounds at a dose of 50mg/kg, by intragastric (i.g.) route, at different times (15-240 min) before test. Results showed that the peak of maximum anti-despair behavior induced by Cl-DPS, F-DPS and CF3-DPS was at 30 min; maximum effect of H-DPS and CH3-DPS was found at 60 min, which was maintained until 120 min. Regarding dose-response effect, all compounds reduced immobility time and increased latency for the first episode of immobility at a dose of 50mg/kg. In addition, F-DPS also showed antidepressant-like action at a dose of 25mg/kg, whilst H-DPS, CH3-DPS, Cl-DPS and CF3-DPS were not effective at lower doses. Thus, F-DPS was chosen for further investigation of its mechanism of action. Experiment 2 showed that treatment of animals with F-DPS (50 mg/kg, i.g.) significantly increased phosphorylated ERK1/2 levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus; however, pCREB levels were not affected. Additionally, in the experiment 3 anti-immobility effect of F-DPS was completely blocked by pretreatment of animals with PD 98,059, an inhibitor of ERK phosphorylation, suggesting that ERK signalling activation is involved in its antidepressant-like action in mice. Together our data appoint F-DPS as a promising molecule for the development of a new antidepressant therapy.