Behavioral and metabolic effects of S-adenosylmethionine and imipramine in the Flinders Sensitive Line rat model of depression

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  • Sandra Tillmann
  • ,
  • Denise Fabienne Happ
  • ,
  • Per Fuglsang Mikkelsen
  • Juergen Geisel, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg, Germany, Germany
  • Gregers Wegener
  • Rima Obeid, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg, Germany
Depression is associated with dysregulation of methyl group metabolism such as low S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). We previously reported that Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats, an animal model of depression, had lower concentrations of liver SAM than the control rats, Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) rats. The present study investigated if SAM supplementation may correct liver SAM and behavioral abnormalities in this model. Moreover, we compared one-carbon (C1) metabolites, neurotransmitters, and gastrointestinal (GI) transit in SAM-treated versus imipramine (IMI)-treated animals. FSL rats received vehicle, IMI, SAM, or IMI + SAM (n = 9–10 per group) once daily through oral gavage for 4 weeks; FRL rats received vehicle. Behavior was assessed using standard tests for locomotion, cognition, and depressive-like behavior. Monoamine neurotransmitters and C1 metabolites were measured using UHPLC‐ECD and UPLC‐MS/MS, respectively. Compared to FRL rats, FSLs had lower liver SAM, higher plasma serotonin, lower hippocampal dopamine and serotonin turnover, and faster GI transit. Behaviorally, FSL rats showed impaired cognitive performance as well as increased depressive-like behavior compared to FRLs. Coadministration of IMI and SAM seemed to have adverse effects on spatial memory. SAM or IMI administration did not reverse C1 metabolites, neurotransmitters, or GI transit in FSLs. Despite low liver SAM in FSL rats, orally administered SAM did not show antidepressant effects in this specific animal model of depression.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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