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    3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-co-enzyme-A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) are popularly used for the treatment of obesity and hypercholesterolemia with established safety profile. Statins exhibits a wide range of neurobehavioral effects in addition to their peripheral actions, and may be beneficial in treatment of psychiatric conditions. Present study investigated the role of agmatine and imidazoline receptors in antidepressant-like effect of statins in mouse forced swimming test (FST). The antidepressant-like effect of atorvastatin (5 mg/kg, p.o.) and simvastatin (10 mg/kg, p.o.) was potentiated by pretreatment with agmatine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) as well as the drugs known to increase endogenous agmatine levels in brain viz., L-arginine (40 μg/mouse, i.c.v.), an agmatine biosynthetic precursor; arcaine (50 μg/mouse, i.c.v), agmatinase inhibitor; and aminoguanidine (6.5 μg/mouse, i.c.v.), a diamine oxidase inhibitor. Further, both the statins increased agmatine levels within hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Conversely, prior administration of I1 receptor antagonist, efaroxan (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and I2 receptor antagonist, idazoxan (0.25 mg/kg, i.p.) blocked the antidepressant-like effect of statins and their synergistic combination with agmatine. These results demonstrate the involvement of agmatine and imidazoline receptors in antidepressant-like effect of statins and suggest as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of depressive disorders. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Sandip Rahangdale, Rajshree Fating, Mona Gajbhiye, Mona Kapse, Nazma Inamdar, Nandkishor Kotagale, Milind Umekar, Brijesh Taksande. Involvement of agmatine in antidepressant-like effect of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors in mice. European journal of pharmacology. 2021 Feb 05;892:173739

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    PMID: 33220274

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