Amitriptyline and scopolamine in an animal model of depression

R. J. Katz*, S. Hersh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to acute (95 dB white noise) or chronic stress, or their combination. In comparison with unstressed controls, stressed rats were more active upon several measures of open field activity. A history of chronic stress eliminated the acute stress induced activation. Concurrent treatment of chronically stressed rats with amitriptyline or scopolamine, or with a combination of both drugs resulted in selective behavioral improvement (i.e., in motor activity, latency, defecation) for amitriptyline and combined treatment rats, with significant restoration of the normal behavioral response. Scopolamine however was only marginally effective. A higher dose of scopolamine proved effective, but only with a marked disruption of baseline activity. Examination of plasma corticosterone titers indicated that chronic stress induced an elevation of basal levels and that this was reversed by amitriptyline, scopolamine, and combined drug treatment. Thus while behavioral depression and elevated corticosteroids may covary they are not identically mediated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981


  • Acetylcholine
  • Activity
  • Amitriptyline
  • Animal model of depression
  • Anticholinergic
  • Corticosterone
  • Depression
  • Open field
  • Scopolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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