Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior

Folic acid prevents depressive-like behavior induced by chronic corticosterone treatment in mice.

PMID 25316305


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of folic acid on depressive-like behavior induced by chronic administration of corticosterone in mice. Corticosterone (20mg/kg, p.o.) was administered once a day for 21days. Folic acid (30mg/kg, p.o.) or fluoxetine (10mg/kg, positive control, p.o.) was administered immediately after corticosterone injection during the last 7days of corticosterone treatment. On the 22nd day, animals were submitted to tail suspension test, open-field test and splash test. Corticosterone treatment caused a depressive-like behavior, evidenced by increased immobility time in the tail suspension test and decreased time in which mice spent grooming in the splash test. Repeated folic acid or fluoxetine administration significantly abolished corticosterone-induced depressive-like behavior. Chronic administration of corticosterone decreased levels of serum corticosterone in mice. Neither folic acid, nor fluoxetine treatment reversed this impairment. These findings indicate a robust effect of folic acid in reversing behavioral alterations induced by corticosterone model of depression in mice, suggesting that this vitamin may be an alternative approach for the management of depressive symptoms.