Mechanisms associated with the antidepressant-like effects of L-655,708

Vladislav Bugay, Alexandra Maxine McCoy, Daniel James Lodge, Robert Brenner, Alan Frazer, Flavia Regina Carreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated that selective modulation of hippocampal transmission by systemic administration of an α5-GABAA receptor negative allosteric modulator, L-655,708, reproduces the sustained antidepressant-like (AD-like) effect of R,S-ketamine in the absence of any psychotomimetic or abuse-related effects. Pharmacological, electrophysiological (whole-cell patch clamp), and behavioral approaches were used to examine the mechanisms by which L-655,708 produces plasticity within the hippocampus that accounts for its sustained AD-like effect in rats. Inhibitors of either transcription or translation prevented the sustained AD-like effect of L-655,708. Unlike R,S-ketamine, L-655,708 did not cause an increase in the phosphorylation of the receptor for BDNF, TrkB, in the ventral hippocampus (vHipp) 30 or 60 min after its administration nor did administration of the TrkB inhibitor, K252a, directly into the vHipp, block the sustained AD-like effect of L-655,708. Similar to previous results with R,S-ketamine, administration of L-655,709 increased levels of GluA1 in the mPFC and, blockade of such receptors by direct administration of NBQX into the mPFC blocked the sustained AD-like effect of L-655,708. Patch-clamp recordings of ventral CA1 pyramidal cells 24 h after a single systemic administration of L-655,708 revealed a significant increase in input resistance, which resulted in an approximately two-fold increase in action potential frequency. These experiments indicate that the sustained AD-like effects of L-655,708 require protein synthesis and plasticity of GluA1 glutamate receptors in the mPFC. The drug also caused changes in GABAA receptor gating properties in the vHipp with resultant changes in ventral CA1 that indirectly increases neuronal excitability. Such effects likely contribute to its sustained AD-like activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2289-2298
Number of pages10
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology


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