The novel antidepressant, tianeptine, reduces stress-evoked stimulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis
Delbende C, Contesse V, Mocaer E, Kamoun A, Vaudry H.
European Institute for Peptide Research,
University of Rouen,
Mont-Saint-Aignan, France.
Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Sep 24;202(3):391-6.


The possible effect of tianeptine, a novel antidepressant agent, on the neuroendocrine response to stress was investigated in adult male rats. Tube restraint stress for 30 min induced a marked increase of plasma ACTH and corticosterone. A single i.p. injection of tianeptine (10 mg/kg), 120 min before stress caused a significant decrease of ACTH and corticosterone levels. In order to investigate the kinetics of the effect of tianeptine, the drug was injected at various times (from 15 min to 12 h) before restraint stress. The inhibitory effect of tianeptine on stress-induced elevations of plasma ACTH and corticosterone occurred from 1 to 3 h after the injection. Administration of increasing doses of tianeptine revealed that only the highest doses (10 and 20 mg/kg) had a significant effect on stress-evoked stimulation of ACTH and corticosterone secretion. These results show that the antidepressant, tianeptine, reduces the activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis induced by restraint stress. Since depressed patients generally exhibit an elevated cortisol level, the present data suggest that part of the therapeutic properties of tianeptine could be accounted for by the effect of this antidepressant to modulate the activity of the HPA axis.
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