Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 June 2014
Objective: Considering that mitochondria may be drug targets and some characteristics of drug–mitochondria interactions may still be misjudged because of the difficulty in foreseeing and understanding all possible implications of the complex pathophysiology of mitochondria, our study aimed to investigate the effect of escitalopram on the activity of enzymes of mitochondrial energy metabolism.
Methods: Animals received daily administration of escitalopram dissolved in saline [10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (IP)] at 1.0 ml/kg volume for 14 days. Control rats received an equivalent volume of saline, 1.0 ml/kg (IP), for the same treatment period. Twelve hours after last injection, rats were killed by decapitation and brain areas were rapidly isolated. The samples were homogenised and the activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, some enzymes of Krebs cycle (citrate synthase, malate dehydrogenase and succinate dehydrogenase) and creatine kinase were measured.
Results: We verified that chronic administration of escitalopram decreased the activities of complexes I and II–III in cerebellum, hippocampus, striatum and posterior cortex whereas prefrontal cortex was not affected. Complex II activity was decreased only in striatum without affecting prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum and posterior cortex. However, chronic administration of escitalopram did not affect complex IV and enzymes of Krebs cycle activities as well as creatine kinase.
Conclusion: In this study we showed a decrease in the activities of complexes I and II–III in most of the brain structures analysed and complex II activity was decreased only in striatum. However, it remains to be determined if mitochondrial dysfunction is rather a causal or a consequential event of abnormal signalling.
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