Hyperlipidemia is associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease and stroke, both of which, in turn, are risk factors of old-age depression. Statins are extensively used for decreasing cholesterol levels. Clinical investigations revealed that long-term use of statins appeared to be associated with a lower risk of anxiety and depression. However, the antidepressant property of statins has not been well examined. This study aimed at examining the antidepressant-like effects of statins in rats exposed to chronic mild stress (CMS). We found that animals exposed to CMS for 4 weeks developed depressive-like state, shown by forced swim test and sucrose preference test. However, these CMS-induced behavioral changes were reversed by simvastatin (5 or 10 mg/kg/day) for 14 days, comparable to imipramine (10 mg/kg/day) treatment. Locomotor activity and anxiety-like behaviors were not altered by CMS or these treatments. These results demonstrated antidepressant-like effects of statin in CMS model of rats and suggested the potential that statins could be used to facilitate antidepressant treatment in clinical setting.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience