Simvastatin treatment exerts antidepressant-like effect in rats exposed to chronic mild stress

Pao Yen Lin, Alice Y.W. Chang, Tsu Kung Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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