Effect of antidepressant drugs on the brain sphingolipid system
Background: Major depression is a common mood disorder and the central sphingolipid system has been identified as a possible drug target of this condition. Here we investigated the action of antidepressant drugs on sphingolipid levels in rat brain regions, plasma and in cultured mouse macrophages. Methods: Two antidepressant drugs were tested; the serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine and the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor desipramine, either following acute or chronic treatments. Content of sphingosine and ceramide were analysed using LC-MS or HPLC-UV respectively. This from samples of brain, plasma and cultured mouse macrophages. Antidepressant induced effects on mRNA expression for two key genes of the sphingolipid pathway, SMPD1 and ASAH1 were also measured by using quantitative Real-Time PCR. Results: Chronic but not acute administration of paroxetine or desipramine reduced sphingosine levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus (only paroxetine) but not in the striatum. Ceramide levels were also measured in the hippocampus following chronic paroxetine and likewise to sphingosine this treatment reduced its levels. The corresponding collected plasma samples from chronically treated animals did not show any decrease of sphingosine compared to the corresponding controls. Both drugs failed to reduce sphingosine levels from cultured mouse macrophages. The drug-induced decrease of sphingolipids coincided with reduced mRNA expression of two enzymes of the central sphingolipid pathway, i.e. acid sphingomyelinase (SMPD1) and acid ceramidase (ASAH1). Conclusions: This study supports the involvement of brain sphingolipids in the mechanism of action by antidepressant drugs and for the first time highlights their differential effects on brain versus plasma levels.
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Citation : Jaddoa, E. et al. (2020) Effect of antidepressant drugs on the brain sphingolipid system. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 34 (7), pp. 716-725
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester School of Pharmacy