Antidepressant-like effect of folic acid: Involvement of NMDA receptors and L-arginine-nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway.Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Nov 19; 598(1-3):37-42.EJ
Antidepressant-like activity of folic acid in forced swimming test and in the tail suspension test was demonstrated previously by our group. In this study we investigated the involvement of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and l-arginine-nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway in its antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test in mice. The antidepressant-like effect of folic acid (10 nmol/site, i.c.v.) was prevented by the pretreatment of mice with NMDA (0.1 pmol/site, i.c.v.), l-arginine (750 mg/kg, i.p., substrate for nitric oxide synthase), S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP, 25 microg/site, i.c.v, a NO donor) or sildenafil (5 mg/kg, i.p., phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor). The administration of 7-nitroindazole (25 and 50 mg/kg, i.p., a specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor) or methylene blue (20 mg/kg, i.p., direct inhibitor of both nitric oxide synthase and soluble guanylate cyclase) in combination with a sub-effective dose of folic acid (1 nmol/site, i.c.v.) reduced the immobility time in the FST as compared with either drug alone. Together the results suggest that the antidepressant-like effect of folic acid in the forced swimming test is dependent on an inhibition of either NMDA receptors or NO and cGMP synthesis.