Chronic Administration of Infliximab (TNF-alpha Inhibitor) Decreases Depression and Anxiety-like Behaviour in Rat Model of Chronic Mild Stress

Karson A. , Demirtaş Şahin T. , Bayramgürler D. , Balci F., Utkan T.

BASIC & CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY & TOXICOLOGY, vol.112, pp.335-340, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 112
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/bcpt.12037
  • Page Numbers: pp.335-340


Pro-inflammatory cytokines have been proposed to be associated with the pathogenesis of depression. Consistent with this notion, several clinical observations have suggested the antidepressant efficacy of TNF- inhibitors in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. In this study, we evaluated the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of chronic TNF- inhibitor (infliximab, 5mg/kg, i.p., weekly) administration in the chronic mild stress (CMS) model of depression. Rats were divided into three groups: saline-control (no stress), saline-CMS, and infliximab-CMS. Rats in the latter two groups were exposed to CMS for 8weeks. Saline (former two groups) or infliximab was injected weekly during this period. After CMS, total locomotor activity, anxiety-like behaviour and depression-like behaviours were evaluated using automated locomotor activity cage, elevated plus maze (EPM), and sucrose preference (SPT) and forced swimming (FS) tests, respectively. As expected, the saline-CMS group exhibited higher depression-like behaviours in FS and SPT tests compared with the saline-control group. There were no differences between these two groups in terms of the anxiety-like behaviour or total locomotor activity. Infliximab reduced the depression-like behaviour of CMS rats compared with saline-CMS group, and anxiety-like behaviour of CMS rats compared with saline-CMS and saline-control groups. Our findings suggest that chronic and systemic TNF- inhibition reduced depression and anxiety-like behaviour in the CMS model of depression in rats.