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Hippocampal monoamine changes in the Flinders sensitive line rat: A case for the possible use of selective α2C-AR-antagonists in stress and anxiety disorders in companion animals

Harvey, B.H.
Uys, M.M.
Viljoen, F.P.
Shahid, M.
Sonntag, Q.
Meyer, L.C.R.
Abstract
Non-selective α2-adrenoreceptor (AR) stimulation delivers favourable sedative, analgesic, muscle relaxant and anxiolytic actions in companion animals, but is associated with cardiovascular and respiratory side effects. Anxiety conditions underscore monoamine disturbances amenable to α2-AR modulation. We investigated sub-chronic (14 day s.c.) treatment with the selective α2C-AR antagonist, ORM-10921 (0.03, 0.1, 0.3 mg/kg/d) on hippocampal noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT) and their turnover levels in stress sensitive Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats versus Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) controls, using high performance liquid chromatography. The effects of ORM-10921 were compared to the non-selective α2-AR antagonist, idazoxan (IDAZ; 3 mg/kg/d), and to imipramine (IMI; 15 mg/kg/d), a reference antidepressant in this model. FSL rats displayed significantly reduced 5-HT (p = 0.03) and DA (p = 0.02) levels vs. FRL controls, while NA levels showed a similar trend. ORM-10921 significantly increased NA (all doses p ≤ 0.02), 5-HT (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg p ≤ 0.03) and DA levels (all doses p ≤ 0.03), which correlated with decreased monoamine turnover. In contrast, IDAZ significantly elevated NA (p < 0.005) and DA (p < 0.004) but not 5-HT levels. IMI also significantly increased 5-HT (p < 0.009), with a tendency to increase NA (p = 0.09) but not DA. ORM-10921 exerts similar albeit broader effects on hippocampal monoamines than IDAZ, explaining earlier established efficacy associated with α2C-AR antagonism in animal models of depression and cognitive dysfunction. These and the current studies encourage application of ORM-10921 in depression in humans, as well as raise the intriguing possibility that selective α2C-AR antagonists may be beneficial in anxiety and stress-related disorders in companion animals. Both warrant further study.
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Date
2021-03
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Publisher
Elsevier
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Keywords
Antidepressant , Anxiety , Hippocampus , Major depression , Stress-related disorder , α2-adrenoreceptors
Citation
Harvey BH, Uys MM, Viljoen FP, Shahid M, Sonntag Q, Meyer LCR. Hippocampal monoamine changes in the Flinders sensitive line rat: A case for the possible use of selective α2C-AR-antagonists in stress and anxiety disorders in companion animals. Res Vet Sci. 2021 Mar;135:175-183. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2021.01.013. Epub 2021 Jan 23.
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