The effects of doxepin on stress-induced learning, memory impairments, and TNF-α level in the rat hippocampus

AA Azadbakht, M Radahmadi, Sh Haghjooye Javanmard, P Reisi


Stress has a profound impact on the nervous system and causes cognitive problems that are partly related to the inflammatory effects. Besides influencing the content of neurotransmitters, antidepressants such as doxepin are likely to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-apoptotic effects. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of doxepin on passive avoidance learning and the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in the rat hippocampus following repeated restraint stress. Male Wistar rats were divided into five groups. Chronic stress was induced by keeping animals within an adjustable restraint chamber for 6 h every day for 21 successive days. In stress-doxepin group, stressed rats were given 1, 5 and 10 mg/kg of doxepin intraperitoneally (i.p) for 21 days and before placing them in restraint chamber. Healthy animals who served as control group and stressed rats received normal saline i.p. For evaluation of learning and memory, initial latency and step-through latency were determined using passive avoidance learning test. TNF-α levels were measured in hippocampus by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) at the end of experiment. Induced stress considerably decreased the step through latencies in the rats (P<0.05) but doxepin administration prevented these changes. Stress-doxepin groups did not reveal any differences compared to control group at any given doses. TNF-α level was increased significantly (P<0.05) in stress group. Only the low dose of doxepin (1 mg/kg) decreased TNF-α level. The present findings indicated that learning and memory are impaired in stressful conditions and doxepin prevented memory deficit. It seems that inflammation may involve in induced stress memory deficits, and that doxepin is helpful in alleviating the neural complications due to stress.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.