||Depression is a physiological disorder that may be treated by increasing the body’s amount of one or a few of the following neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Although there are seven distinct classes of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tetracyclic antidepressants are widely prescribed and generally regarded as the first-line drugs in the treatment of depression. However, many physiological roles of some SSRIs appear to be dissociated with the inhibition of serotonin reuptake. For instance, paroxetine, a member of SSRIs and maprotiline, a member of tetracyclic antidepressant, have been shown to induce apoptosis or to prevent other agents from inducing apoptosis in several cell lines. Thus the effects of these two drugs on the apoptosis are still controversial.|
The aim of this study is to investigate the molecular mechanisms of paroxetine and maprotiline in induction of cell death in human osteosarcoma and murine neuroblastoma cells. First, WST-1 reduction assays and propidium iodide-staining assays were used to determine cell viability and apoptosis in the presence of paroxetine and maprotiline. Then immunoblotting was used to measure the activity of apoptotic markers caspase-3 and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) to survey the apoptotic pathways induced by these two antidepressants. The experimental results may be helpful to understand the pharmacological and toxicological effects of these two antidepressants in cells from important organs.
Results showed that paroxetine caused apoptosis via the activation of caspase-3 in cultured human osteosarcoma cells (MG63). Although paroxetine could activate the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), only SB203580 (a p38 MAPK inhibitor) partially prevented cells from apoptosis. Paroxetine was also found to induce [Ca2+]i increases but pretreatment with BAPTA/AM, a Ca2+ chelator, prevented paroxetine-induced [Ca2+]i increases, and thus did not protect cells from death. These results suggest that paroxetine caused Ca2+-independent apoptosis via the activation of p38 MAPK-associated caspase-3 in MG63 cells.
Maprotiline was also found to induce apoptosis through increased caspase-3 activation in murine neuroblastoma Neuro-2a cells. Induction of JNK phosphorylation contributed to the activation of caspase-3 resulting in maprotiline-induced Neuro-2a cell apoptosis. Thus, it appears that maprotiline induced apoptosis via JNK/caspase-3-dependent signaling pathways. Blockage of activation of ERK was found to increase the activation of caspase-3 leading to an enhancement of maprotiline-induced apoptosis. These data suggest that ERK was a survival signal to oppose maprotiline-caused apoptotic effect in Neuro-2a cells. Thus the activation of caspase-3 by maprotiline appears to depend on the activation of JNK and the inactivation of ERK. [Ca2+]i measurement in the presence of maprotiline showed that the antidepressant induced [Ca2+]i increases. Interestingly, pretreatment with BAPTA/AM could suppress maprotiline-induced ERK phosphorylation, enhance caspase-3 activation and increase maprotiline-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that maprotiline induced apoptosis in murine neuroblastoma cells through activation of JNK-associated caspase-3 pathways. Maprotiline also evoked an anti-apoptotic response that was both Ca2+- and ERK-dependent. This thesis contains some published data in the journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology and some data were submitted in the journal of Toxicology Letters.