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Inositol reduces depressive-like behaviors in two different animal models of depression

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Rationale: Myo-inositol is an isomer of glucose that is a precursor in the phosphatidylinositol (PIP) cycle, a source of two second messengers: diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol triphosphate (IP3). Clinical studies have reported that inositol is effective in relieving symptoms of depression. Objective: The present study examined the effects of inositol on two animal models of depression: the Porsolt forced swim test, a behaviorally based model; and the reserpine-induced immobility model, a pharmacologically based model. Methods and results: Chronic inositol injections (daily for 14 days) of 1.2 g/kg (but not at lower doses) reduced immobility time and increased struggle time in the Porsolt test compared with control animals. The same dose and treatment schedule also reduced complete immobility time but did not affect ambulatory activity in the reserpine test compared with controls. Chronic oral treatment with inositol (10% in food for 14 days) had effects similar to IP inositol in the Porsolt test. Conclusions: The effect of inositol in animal models of depression supports its possible importance as a new treatment for the disorder, and permits research on its mechanisms of action.

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Received: 31 August 1998 / Final version: 18 November 1998

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Einat, H., Karbovski, H., Korik, J. et al. Inositol reduces depressive-like behaviors in two different animal models of depression. Psychopharmacology 144, 158–162 (1999).

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