Ascorbic acid administration produces an antidepressant-like effect: evidence for the involvement of monoaminergic neurotransmission.Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Apr 30; 33(3):530-40.PN
Ascorbic acid is highly concentrated in the brain, being considered as a neuromodulator. This study investigated the effect of ascorbic acid in the tail suspension test (TST) and in the forced swimming test (FST) in mice and the contribution of the monoaminergic system to its antidepressant-like effect. Moreover, the effects of fluoxetine, imipramine and bupropion in combination with ascorbic acid in the TST were investigated. Ascorbic acid (0.1-10 mg/kg, i.p., 1-10 mg/kg p.o. or 0.1 nmol/mice i.c.v.) produced an antidepressant-like effect in the TST, but not in the FST, without altering the locomotor activity. The effect of ascorbic acid (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) in the TST was prevented by i.p. pre-treatment with NAN-190 (0.5 mg/kg), ketanserin (5 mg/kg), MDL72222 (0.1 mg/kg), prazosin (62.5 microg/kg), yohimbine (1 mg/kg), propranolol (2 mg/kg), haloperidol (0.2 mg/kg), sulpiride (50 mg/kg), but not with SCH23390 (0.05 mg/kg, s.c.). Additionally, ascorbic acid (1 mg/kg, p.o.) potentiated the effect of subeffective doses (p.o. route) of fluoxetine (1 mg/kg), imipramine (0.1 mg/kg), or bupropion (1 mg/kg) in the TST. The combined treatment of ascorbic acid with antidepressants produced no alteration in the locomotion in the open-field test. In conclusion, our results show that administration of ascorbic acid produces an antidepressant-like effect in TST, which is dependent on its interaction with the monoaminergic system. Moreover, ascorbic acid caused a synergistic antidepressant-like effect with conventional antidepressants. Therefore, the present findings warrant further studies to evaluate the therapeutical relevance of ascorbic acid for the treatment of depression and as a co-adjuvant treatment with antidepressants.