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Comparative Study on the Activity of Agomelatine and/or Curcumin against Development of Depression in Rats

Azza A Ali

Background: The depressive disorders in both developed and developing countries constitute a large proportion in the global burden of disease. Curcumin is the frequently used herb Turmeric, which was proven to possess antidepressant, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Agomelatine is a novel antidepressant with melatonergic agonism and 5-HT2C antagonism and has lower side effects than fluoxetine.

Objective: Compare the activity of agomelatine and curcumin as well as investigate the possible interaction between them against clonidine-induced depression in rats.

Methods: Six groups of rats were used and received treatments for 14 days; one normal control group received saline while the other five groups given clonidine (0.8 mg/kg I.P) from 8th to 14th day (depressed groups), one of them received saline and the others received either agomelatine (40 mg/Kg P.O), curcumin (100 mg/Kg P.O), combination of both agomelatine & curcumin or received standard antidepressant drug fluoxetine (20 mg/Kg P.O) during 14 days of treatment. Two behavioural experiments were performed; Open Field Test and Forced Swimming Test. Brain monoamines (5-HT, NE and DA), pro-inflammatory mediators (TNF-α and IL-6) and oxidative parameters (MDA and GSH) were evaluated for all groups.

Results: Clonidine decreased locomotor activity and struggling while increased immobility time. Brain monoamines and GSH were also decreased while MDA, TNF-α and IL-6 were increased. Administration of agomelatine and/or curcumin reversed behavioural and biochemical changes in the brain induced by clonidine. As regarding behavioural changes; the effect of curcumin was more pronounced than fluoxetine. However co-administration of both agomelatine and curcumin showed no more improvement than each one alone.

Conclusions: Agomelatine and/or curcumin in their therapeutic doses showed high efficiency against development of depression in rats, concomitant administration of both has no additive effects than each of them. However, the effect of curcumin was more pronounced than the standard antidepressant fluoxetine concerning the behavioural changes.