The antidepressant-like effects of the 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitor trilostane in mice is related to changes in neuroactive steroid and monoamine levels

Julie Espallergues, Takayoshi Mamiya, Monique Vallée, Takenao Koseki, Toshitaka Nabeshima, Jamal Temsamani, Claude Laruelle, Tangui Maurice

研究成果: Article

12 引用 (Scopus)


In the present study, we analyzed the effects of a systemic treatment with the competitive 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) inhibitor trilostane on: (i) neurosteroid and monoamine levels in the brain, and (ii) the antidepressant activity of steroids and antidepressants in the forced swimming test (FST). 3β-HSD converts pregnenolone (PREG) into progesterone (PROG) or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) into androstenedione. These neuroactive steroids are known to regulate neurotransmitters effects in the brain, particularly glutamate, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin (5-HT), with consequences on mood and depression. We previously reported that trilostane showed antidepressant-like properties in the FST and concomitantly regulated plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone levels, markers of the stress-induced hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. We here observed that adrenalectomy/castration blocked the trilostane effect, outlining the importance of peripheral steroid levels. Trilostane (25 mg/kg) decreased hippocampus PROG contents and paradoxically increased circulating PROG levels. It also increased PREG levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. In the FST, a co-treatment with trilostane facilitated DHEAS (5-20 mg/kg) antidepressant activity, but showed only an additive, not facilitative, effect with PREGS (10-40 mg/kg), PROG (10-40 mg/kg) or allopregnanolone (ALLO, 1-8 mg/kg). Trilostane (25 mg/kg) treatment significantly increased 5-HT and (-)-norepinephrine (NE) turnovers in the hippocampus, an effect likely related to its antidepressant action. In co-administration studies, trilostane further decreased immobility following fluoxetine (30-60 mg/kg), sertraline (20-40 mg/kg) and imipramine (20-40 mg/kg), but not desipramine (20-40 mg/kg), treatments. A significant additive effect was observed for the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) at their highest dose. This study confirmed that a systemic administration of trilostane directly affected peripheral and brain levels in neuroactive steroids and monoamine turnover, resulting in antidepressant activity. The drug could be proposed as a co-treatment with SSRI. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'.

出版物ステータスPublished - 01-01-2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience