Antidepressant-like effects of a novel pentapeptide, nemifitide, in an animal model of depression

Abstract

Background

Nemifitide is a novel peptide analog of melanocyte-inhibiting factor (MIF) that has been reported to relieve depressive symptoms in a very short period.

Objectives

The Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rat, a genetic animal model of depression with innate exaggerated immobility in the forced swim test, was used to obtain more detailed information about the antidepressant-like effects of nemifitide.

Methods

The FSL rats were treated chronically with various doses of nemifitide or reference antidepressants desipramine and fluoxetine for 5 or 14 days and the forced swim test was conducted 22–24 h after the last treatment.

Results

Nemifitide significantly increased swimming in the FSL rats at both low (0.025–0.3 mg/kg) and high (3.0–15.0 mg/kg) doses but not at intermediate (0.4–2.4 mg/kg) doses. Nemifitide (0.3 mg/kg) and desipramine (5.0 mg/kg) significantly increased swimming in the FSL rats after just 5 days of treatment, but fluoxetine (5.0 mg/kg) did not. Nemifitide (0.3 mg/kg) and fluoxetine (5.0 mg/kg) had long-lasting effects, but desipramine (5.0 mg/kg) did not.

Conclusions

These findings support the value of developing nemifitide and its analogs as potential antidepressants.

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Acknowledgments

Support for this work was provided by Innapharma, Inc. via a standard contract with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr Overstreet was not independently compensated by Innapharma, Inc. nor does he has a financial interest in the company. The technical assistance of Qi Yu and Mili Senapati is acknowledged. This work was funded by Innapharma, Inc.

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Correspondence to David H. Overstreet.

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Overstreet, D.H., Hlavka, J., Feighner, J.P. et al. Antidepressant-like effects of a novel pentapeptide, nemifitide, in an animal model of depression. Psychopharmacology 175, 303–309 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-004-1815-9

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Keywords

  • Flinders Sensitive Line rat model of depression
  • Nemifitide
  • Forced swim test
  • Desipramine
  • Fluoxetine