Synthetic enhancer compounds, besides acting on biogenic amine system, influence the glutamate transmission and stress response

Joseph Knoll, Dora Zelena, Julia Timar, Kornelia Baghy, Zsolt Mervai, Ildiko Miklya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pharmaceutically available enhancer selegiline/(-)-deprenyl (DEP) in the clinically used dose shows antidepressant effect, but nothing is known about this effect in enhancer dose, and its effect on co-morbid anxiety. Moreover, data about the antidepressant/antianxiety effects of the serotonin-influencing enhancer, (2R)-1-(1-benzofuran-2-yl)-N-propylpentane-2-amine (BPAP) are also missing. The aim of the present paper is to establish the role of enhancer regulation in anxiety and follow the changes in the phosphorylation of glutamate subunits in prefrontal cortex as well as stress-related organ and hormonal changes as possible background mechanism. The effect of 3-week-treatment of rats with specific (0.001 mg/kg for DEP, 0.0001 mg/kg for BPAP) and non-specific (0.1 mg/kg for DEP, 0.05 mg/kg for BPAP) enhancer doses were evaluated on anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open-field (OF) tests. Phosphorylated glutamatergic GluR1 and GluN2B subunits were analyzed by Western blot. Changes in the stress-regulatory system were evaluated by measuring the organ weights and blood corticosterone concentrations. Non-specific enhancer doses had a tendency for anxiolysis on EPM, while only 0.1 mg/kg DEP elevated motility in OF. Specific enhancer doses significantly increased the expression of both glutamatergic receptor subunits; non-specific doses elevated only pGluR1. Treatments had no effects on stress-like organ weights; however, the specific enhancer doses significantly reduced the dark phase resting corticosterone levels. The study proved the enhancer-sensitivity of the glutamatergic transmitter system and suggested enhancer-induced stabilization of stress-hormone levels without major impact on non-stimulated anxiety-like behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112290
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • (2R)-1-(1-benzofuran-2-yl)-N-propylpentane-2-amine (BPAP)
  • Corticosterone
  • pGluN2B receptor subunit
  • pGluR1 receptor
  • Selegiline/(-)-deprenyl
  • Stress triad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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