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The influence of dosing time on the anti-immobility effect of antidepressants and mechanisms underlying this phenomenon were investigated in mice. In the forced swimming test (FST), the immobility time of mice treated with amitriptyline (15 mg/kg) and fluvoxamine (30 mg/kg) showed a significant 24-h rhythm. The anti-immobility effect of fluvoxamine in FST was potent at the early part of the dark phase without increasing locomotor activity. Concerning pharmacokinetics, although K(e) of fluvoxamine was approximately 1.3-fold higher in mice injected with fluvoxamine at 9:00 PM than at 9:00 AM, no dosing time dependence was demonstrated for either plasma or brain fluvoxamine concentration at 0.5 h after the drug injection. On the other hand, serotonin transporter (SERT) mRNA expression and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) uptake activity in the mouse midbrain showed significant time-dependent changes with higher levels during the dark phase and lower levels during the light phase. These results suggest that the reuptake of 5-HT might be more increased during the dark phase. Since the reuptake of 5-HT is inhibited almost completely by injection with 30 mg/kg fluvoxamine at any time, the extracellular 5-HT level may be more increased by the injection of fluvoxamine at the early part of the dark phase. The present results suggest that the anti-immobility effect of fluvoxamine in FST increases depending on dosing time. Furthermore, the time-dependent change of SERT mRNA expression and uptake activity in the midbrain is suggested to be the mechanism underlying the 24-h rhythm of anti-immobility effect of fluvoxamine.


Kentarou Ushijima, Hiromi Sakaguchi, Yuki Sato, Hideto To, Satoru Koyanagi, Shun Higuchi, Shigehiro Ohdo. Chronopharmacological study of antidepressants in forced swimming test of mice. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. 2005 Nov;315(2):764-70

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PMID: 16079297

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