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Conversion of L-Tryptophan into Melatonin Is the Possible Action Pathway Involved in the Effect of L-Tryptophan on Antidepressant-Related Behavior in Female Rats: Analysis of the Influence of Treatment Duration

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DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.34036    2,899 Downloads   4,912 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of pharmacological doses of melatonin (MEL) and L-tryptophan (L-TRP) on depression-like behavior in female rats submitted to the forced swimming test (FST) after 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks of treatment. This will allow exploring the different mechanisms of L-TRP actions particularly that due to its conversion into MEL. For this purpose, four groups of 24 rats each were constituted; (Group 1: Control): received saline solution NaCl (0.9%), (Group 2: MEL4): received 4 mg/Kg of MEL, (Group 3: L-TRP4): received 4 mg/Kg of L-TRP and (Group 4: L-TRP20): received 20 mg/Kg of L-TRP. Animals of each group were distributed on 4 subgroups of 6 rats submitted to different time treatments. The duration of immobility (TIM) and struggling period (TST) of rats in FST were measured after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of drug treatment and the effects of MEL and L-TRP were compared. Chronical administration of different doses of MEL or L-TRP failed to induce any anti-depressant activity in rats subjected to FST after 2 weeks of treatment. However, after 4 weeks, daily administration of MEL at 4 mg/Kg significantly reduced the immobility period and enhanced struggling time. After 6 weeks, MEL at 4 mg/Kg and L-TRP at 20 mg/Kg were both effective in reducing immobility and increasing struggling movement, their effects being statistically comparable. All treatments were able to significantly reduce immobility time and increase struggling duration after 8 weeks, but L-TRP at 4 mg/Kg was less potent than MEL and L-TRP at 20 g/Kg. The antidepressant-like activity of L-TRP was dose and time dependent, and that of MEL was time dependent. In conclusion, the study showed that at pharmacological doses, MEL and L-TRP have anti-depressant action, and such effect is dependent on time treatment; MEL is more effective than L-TRP. In conclusion, L-TRP, through MEL, 5-HT or by itself could modulate aminergic neurotransmission in the different brain areas to ensure its behavioral effects.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. Ouakki, F. Mrabet, A. Hessni, A. Mesfioui, P. Pévet and A. Ouichou, "Conversion of L-Tryptophan into Melatonin Is the Possible Action Pathway Involved in the Effect of L-Tryptophan on Antidepressant-Related Behavior in Female Rats: Analysis of the Influence of Treatment Duration," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 362-372. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.34036.

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