Comparative study of neuroprotective effect of tricyclics vs. trazodone on animal model of depressive disorder

Vol. 53 No. 2, 2012


Ileana P. Marinescu, Anca Predescu, T. Udristoiu, D. Marinescu

The neurobiological model of depressive disorder may be correlated with the animal model on rat, hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the increase of cortisol level being specific to the model of depression in women. The neurobiological model of depression in women presents vulnerabilities for some cerebral structures (hippocampus, frontal cortex, cerebral amygdala). A decrease of frontal cortex and hippocampus volumes are recognized in depressive disorder in women, depending on duration of disease and antidepressant therapy. Neurobiological vulnerability may be pronounced through cholinergic blockade. The purpose of the study was to highlight the cytoarchitectural changes in the frontal cortex and hippocampus by comparing two antidepressant substances: amitriptyline with a strong anticholinergic effect and trazodone, without anticholinergic effect. The superior neuroprotective qualities of trazodone for the frontal cortex, hippocampus and dentate gyrus are revealed. The particular neurobiological vulnerability of depression in women requires a differentiated therapeutic approach, avoiding the use of antidepressants with anticholinergic action.

Corresponding author: Ileana P. Marinescu, MD, PhD student; e-mail:

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