, Volume 115, Issue 1–2, pp 237–244 | Cite as

Neonatal desipramine treatment alters free-running circadian drinking rhythms in rats

  • Alan M. Rosenwasser
  • Marie J. Hayes
Original Investigations


Neonatal treatment with monoamine reuptake inhibitors results in a constellation of neurobehavioral alterations in adult rats that may model human depression. Since alterations in circadian rhythmicity have been reported in both depressed patients and in animal depression models, the present study examined the effects of neonatal desipramine treatment (5.0 mg/kg SC from postnatal day 7 through 22) on free-running circadian drinking rhythms. Rhythmicity was examined in constant darkness (DD), constant light (LL), and during adult desipramine treatment (0.25 mg/ml via the drinking water). Compared with saline-treated controls, neonatal desipramine lengthened free-running period in DD, blunted the period-altering effect of LL, and potentiated the period-altering effect of adult desipramine treatment. Neonatal desipramine treatment also increased circadian amplitude and spectral magnitude, but did not modify the effects of light or adult desipramine on these parameters. These results provide further evidence that behavioral depression is associated with alterations in circadian rhythmicity, and are consistent with the hypothesis that such relationships are mediated by brain monoaminergic systems.

Key words

Neonatal Desipramine Circadian Rats 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan M. Rosenwasser
    • 1
  • Marie J. Hayes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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