The role of NMDA receptor and nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway in the antidepressant-like effect of dextromethorphan in mice forced swimming test and tail suspension test.Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jan; 85:627-634.BP
Depression is a devastating disorder which has a high impact on the wellbeing of overall society. As such, need for innovative therapeutic agents are always there. Most of the researchers focused on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor to explore the antidepressant like activity of new therapeutic agents. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant agent with potential antidepressant activity reported in mouse force swimming test. Considering N-methyl-d-aspartate as a forefront in exploring antidepressant agents, here we focused to unpin the antidepressant mechanism of dextromethorphan targeting N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor induced nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate signaling. Dextromethorphan administered at a dose of 10 and 30mg/kg i.p significantly reduced the immobility time. Interestingly, this effect of drug (30mg/kg) was inhibited when the animals were pretreated either with N-methyl-d-aspartate (75mg/kg), or l-arginine (750mg/kg) as a nitric oxide precursor and/or sildenafil (5mg/kg) as a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor. However, the antidepressant effect of Dextromethorphan subeffective dose (3mg/kg) was augmented when the animals were administered with either L-NG-Nitroarginine methyl ester (10mg/kg) non-specific nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 7-Nitroindazole (30mg/kg) specific neural nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, MK-801 (0.05mg/kg) an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist but not aminoguanidine (50mg/kg) which is specific inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor as compared to the drugs when administered alone. No remarkable effect on locomotor activity was observed during open field test when the drugs were administered at the above mentioned doses. Therefore, it is evident that the antidepressant like effect of Dextromethorphan is owed due to its inhibitory effect on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor and NO- Cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway.