We have previously found that repeated phencyclidine (PCP) treatment enhances the immobility induced by forced swimming and suggested that this behavioral change could be used as a model of the negative symptoms, particularly depression, of schizophrenia. The present study attempted to examine the effects of antidepressants on the depressive states (immobility) induced by forced swimming in mice repeatedly treated with PCP, compared with those in mice repeatedly treated with saline. In mice repeatedly treated with saline, desipramine (5 and 10 mg/kg) and imipramine (5 and 10 mg/kg) significantly attenuated immobility, whereas mianserin (5-20 mg/kg) and clomipramine (10 and 50 mg/kg) had no affect. In mice repeatedly treated with PCP, the enhancing effect of PCP on immobility was attenuated by mianserin (5-20 mg/kg) at doses which did not have any effect in saline-treated mice, and by desipramine at higher doses (20 and 50 mg/kg). However, imipramine (5-20 mg/kg) and clomipramine (10-50 mg/kg) did not affect PCP-induced enhancement of immobility. In the biochemical study, the content of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and the 5-HIAA/5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) ratio in the prefrontal cortex in mice repeatedly treated with PCP, but not with saline, following the forced swimming test were significantly increased, compared with those in the corresponding control mice (which did not perform the test). The present findings suggest that the depressive states induced by the forced swimming in mice repeatedly treated with PCP are less sensitive to acute treatment with tricyclic antidepressants, and this may be due to increase in 5-HT turnover. Antidepressants such as mianserin, which have the 5-HT, receptor antagonist properties, may be useful for the treatment of negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
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