GLYX-13 Produces Rapid Antidepressant Responses with Key Synaptic and Behavioral Effects Distinct from Ketamine

Rong Jian Liu, Catharine Duman, Taro Kato, Brendan Hare, Dora Lopresto, Eunyoung Bang, Jeffery Burgdorf, Joseph Moskal, Jane Taylor, George Aghajanian, Ronald S. Duman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


GLYX-13 is a putative NMDA receptor modulator with glycine-site partial agonist properties that produces rapid antidepressant effects, but without the psychotomimetic side effects of ketamine. Studies were conducted to examine the molecular, cellular, and behavioral actions of GLYX-13 to further characterize the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant actions of this agent. The results demonstrate that a single dose of GLYX-13 rapidly activates the mTORC1 pathway in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and that infusion of the selective mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin into the medial PFC (mPFC) blocks the antidepressant behavioral actions of GLYX-13, indicating a requirement for mTORC1 similar to ketamine. The results also demonstrate that GLYX-13 rapidly increases the number and function of spine synapses in the apical dendritic tuft of layer V pyramidal neurons in the mPFC. Notably, GLYX-13 significantly increased the synaptic responses to hypocretin, a measure of thalamocortical synapses, compared with its effects on 5-HT responses, a measure of cortical-cortical responses mediated by the 5-HT 2A receptor. Behavioral studies further demonstrate that GLYX-13 does not influence 5-HT 2 receptor induced head twitch response or impulsivity in a serial reaction time task (SRTT), whereas ketamine increased responses in both tests. In contrast, both GLYX-13 and ketamine increased attention in the SRTT task, which is linked to hypocretin-thalamocortical responses. The differences in the 5-HT 2 receptor synaptic and behavioral responses may be related to the lack of psychotomimetic side effects of GLYX-13 compared with ketamine, whereas regulation of the hypocretin responses may contribute to the therapeutic benefits of both rapid acting antidepressants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1242
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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