ANTIDEPRESSIVE ACTION OF MYRTENOL AGAINST DEPRESSION INDUCED BY NEUROPATHIC PAIN IN RATS
pharmaceutical industry, seeking medical applications. Monoterpenes, such as (-) - myrtenol (MYR), are
among the most investigated, since its chemical structure and biological effects1. Studies showed that the
MYR has sedative2, anxiolytic1 and anti-inflammatory3. In addition to this, MYR modifies the function of
the GABA A receptor in Xenopus oocyte and embryonic human cells4. However, research exploring the
antidepressive actions is still needed. Objective: this work aimed to verify the antidepressive action of (-
)- myrtenol in spared nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain in rats. Materials and Methods: male
Wistar rats were subjected to surgery to induce neuropathic pain (SNI) in the terminal branches of the
sciatic nerve - common peroneal and tibial - were sectioned, maintaining only the sural nerve intact. The
animals were divided into a control group (received saline, gavage) and treated group (receiving MYR at
a dose of 30 mg/kg, also gavage). Treatment was administered once daily for 15 consecutive days. An
additional group of animals (sham group) received a sham surgery where the nerve was exposed but not
manipulated. All animals were evaluated for depression by the forced swimming test in the 10th and 15th
after surgery. Results: the SNI surgery induced depressive like behavior in animals. After repeated
administration, MYR was able to decrease significantly the immobility time in the forced swimming test
in animals subjected to SNI surgery. The effect was observed on the 10th and 15th days post-surgery.
Discussion and Conclusion: The results showed that the MYR when repeatedly administered orally, causes
antidepressant effect in rats. These data, together with data obtained from the literature suggest that
MYR presents itself as a potential drug acting on the central nervous system.
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