Desormeaux et al J Psychopharmacol. 2020

Selective activation of D1 dopamine receptors exerts antidepressant-like activity in rats.  Desormeaux C, Demars F, Davenas E, Jay TM, Lavergne F. J Psychopharmacol. 2020 Dec;34(12):1443-1448. doi: 10.1177/0269881120959613. Epub 2020 Oct 8. PubMed PMID: 33256509. Download from HAL-INSERM :


Background: Major depressive disorder is a common illness that severely decreases psychosocial functioning. Due to the major limitations of current treatments including response failure, it is crucial to develop better therapy strategies. Evidence suggests that dopamine dysregulation might play a major role in major depressive disorder physiopathology.

Aims: This study investigates whether the dopamine D1 receptor agonist A77636 modulates antidepressant-like activity in rats.

Methods: Rats were injected with an acute single dose of A77636 (0.75, 1.5 or 3 mg/kg), a potent and selective dopamine D1-like receptor agonist. Their locomotor activity, social interactions and behavioural response to the forced swim test were analysed 30 min after the injection.

Results: During the forced swim test, the D1 agonist dose dependently reduced the immobility while the time of bursting was increased. Social interactions were significantly increased in the animals exposed to 3 mg/kg of A77636 whereas no significant changes were measured in general motor activity.

Conclusions: The present results provide evidence that pharmacological modulation of D1 receptor by the selective agonist A77636 induces antidepressant-like effects in rats, which encourages further studies regarding D1-specific modulation in major depressive disorder treatment.

Keywords: D1-agonist; Dopamine; antidepressant; forced swim test (FST); social interactions.

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