Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology

Early citalopram treatment increases mortality due to left ventricular rupture in mice after myocardial infarction.

PMID 27397875


Both anxiety and depression are common and independent outcome predictors in patients after myocardial infarction (MI). However, it is unclear whether and how anti-depressants influence remodeling after MI. Thus, we studied cardiac remodeling in mice after experimental MI under treatment with citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor widely used as antidepressant. Treatment with citalopram versus saline was applied via osmotic pump after coronary artery ligation. Two different groups were studied: early treatment during the healing phase (starting immediately after surgery), or late treatment in the remodeling phase (starting 7days after surgery). Late treatment did not change mortality or left ventricular remodeling after MI over the period of 6weeks. However, in the early treatment group mortality was increased in citalopram-treated mice predominantly due to left ventricle rupture without differences in infarct size. Remodeling 4weeks after MI was not altered by the treatment. Neither infiltration of inflammatory cells, as determined by FACS analysis of myocardial tissue, nor mRNA-expression of inflammatory cytokines changed 3days after MI in the early treatment group. However, extracellular matrix functioning was altered: There was a significant increase of MMP13 in citalopram treated animals after MI. Pretreatment with the MMP inhibitor PD 166793 prevented left ventricular ruptures and demonstrated a tendency to improved survival after citalopram treatment. Treatment with antidepressant citalopram in the acute but not in the late phase after MI significantly increased mortality in mice by disturbing early healing. Pharmacological MMP inhibition partially reversed the deleterious effects of citalopram.