A novel 5HT3 antagonist 4i (N-(3-chloro-2-methylphenyl)quinoxalin-2-carboxamide) prevents diabetes-induced depressive phenotypes in mice: Modulation of serotonergic system

Deepali Gupta, Devadoss Thangaraj, Mahesh Radhakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Despite the presence of a multitudinous pharmacotherapy, diabetes-induced depressive disorder remains undertreated. Evidence suggests that brain serotonergic deficits are associated with depressive-like behavior in diabetes and that 5HT3 receptor (5HT3R) antagonists have serotonergic facilitatory effects. This study examined the effects of a novel 5HT3R antagonist, 4i (N-(3-chloro-2-methylphenyl)quinoxalin-2-carboxamide), in diabetes-induced depressive phenotypes. Experimentally, (1) to evaluate the effects of 4i, mice with 8-weeks of diabetes (induced by streptozotocin, 200mg/kg, i.p.) were treated with vehicle, 4i (0.5 and 1mg/kg/day, i.p.), fluoxetine (10mg/kg/day, i.p.) for 4-weeks and subjected to neurobehavioral assays, followed by biochemical estimation of serotonin levels in midbrain, prefrontal-cortex and cerebellum. (2) To evaluate the role of 5HT3R in the postulated effect of 4i, diabetic mice were given 4i (1mg/kg/day, i.p.) after 1h of 1-(m-chlorophenyl)-biguanide (mCPBG, a 5HT3R agonist, 10mg/kg/day, i.p.) treatment and subjected to the same protocol.The results showed that diabetic mice exhibited a significant behavioral deficit, including depression-like behavior in forced swim test, anxiety-like in open field test and sociability deficits in social interaction test, along with a significant decrease in serotonin level in these brain regions. 4i (1. mg/kg), similar to fluoxetine, prevented these behavioral abnormalities and normalized brain serotonin levels. 4i (0.5. mg/kg) ameliorated only diabetes-induced depressive-like behavior and serotonin deficits, but not anxiety-like effects. mCPBG blunted 4i-mediated behavioral response and increase in brain serotonin levels. Altogether, this study suggests that 4i prevents diabetes-induced depressive phenotypes in mice, which may involve antagonism of 5HT3Rs and increase in serotonin levels in discrete brain regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • 5HT receptor antagonist
  • Depressive phenotypes
  • Diabetes
  • Forced swim test
  • Open field test
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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