There are many studies of the mechanisms of antidepressants; however, most of these studies were conducted on the hippocampus or frontal cortex. In the present study, we hypothesized that the nucleus accumbens and caudate/putamen might be major targets for antidepressant effects. Thus, we focused on Golf protein, a stimulant α-subunit of G protein that is coupled with the dopamine D1 receptor and specifically expressed in the striatum (nucleus accumbens, caudate/putamen and olfactory tubercle) in the rat brain. We examined the effects of chronic administration of imipramine, fluvoxamine, maprotiline and, as a negative control, cocaine on the level of Golf protein in the rat striatum. We also examined the effect of olfactory bulbectomy. Chronic imipramine treatment (10 mg/kg for 2 or 4 weeks) significantly increased the level of Golf in the striatum (by 17% or 18%, respectively), although this increase was not apparent after only 1 week of treatment. The time course of these changes corresponded well to that of the clinical efficacy of imipramine. Chronic fluvoxamine and maprotiline treatment (20 mg/kg for 2 weeks) also significantly increased the level of Golf (by 9% and 25%, respectively), but cocaine did not alter it significantly. Bulbectomy decreased the Golf protein level by 9%. The increases in Golf protein after chronic administration of these three different classes of antidepressants and the decrease after bulbectomy suggest that Golf protein may play an important role in the antidepressant effect.
- G protein
- Nucleus accumbens
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)