The effect of GABAmimetics on the duration of immobility in the forced swim test in albino mice
Objectives: Studies regarding the role of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in depression are conflicting. Therefore, it was decided to examine the effect of different drugs that enhance the GABA system on the time of immobility induced by the forced swim test (FST).
Materials and methods: Adult albino mice were divided into several groups of six animals. Each group received an intraperitoneal injection of either imipramine (10, 20, or 30 mg/kg), diazepam (0.5, 1, or 2 mg/kg), vigabatrin (100, 200, or 300 mg/kg), zolpidem (2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg), or alprazolam (1, 2.5, or 5 mg/kg). Control groups received the appropriate vehicle. One hour after injection, the duration of immobility was measured for 5 min in the FST. The percentage change in the duration of immobility from the control was calculated for each group. The statistical test of the difference between the treated and the control groups was calculated using unpaired Student’s t-test.
Results: Imipramine produced a significant dose-dependent decrease in the duration of immobility (78, 74, and 56%, respectively). Different doses of diazepam, vigabatrin, and zolpidem produced a significant increase in the duration of immobility (119, 126, and 128%), (116, 124, and 128%), and (108, 109, and 119%), respectively. The two low doses of alprazolam produced a significant increase (115 and 120%), while the high dose produced a significant decrease in the duration of immobility (74%).
Conclusion: Increasing central GABAergic activity by different mechanisms has resulted in a depressant-like activity measured as an increase in the duration of immobility in the FST model of depression.
Keywords: GABAmimetics; forced swim test; diazepam; vigabatrin; zolpidem; alprazolam