Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 202
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825453

Magnesium-deficient diet alters depression and anxiety-related behavior in mice – Influence of desipramine and hypericum extract

H Murck 1, C Sinner 2, N Singewald 2
  • 1Lichtwer Pharma AG, Berlin, present address, Laxdale Ltd, Stlirling UK
  • 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacy, University of Innsbruck, Austria

A relation between magnesium (Mg) salts and mood disorders has been suggested. We examined in mice the effect of Mg-depletion in the forced-swim-test (FST), the open-field-test (OFT) and light-dark-test (LDT) and whether it can be reversed by pharmacotherapy. Mg-depleted mice showed reduced entry into the center area in the OFT, a reduced time spent in the light compartment in the LDT and an increased immobility in the FST compared to control mice. Chronic administration (at least 3 weeks) of Hypericum-extract LI160 (300mg/(kg x d)) or desipramin (30mg/(kg x d)) in Mg-depleted mice prevented the increase in depression-related behavior in the FST. LI160, but not desipramine, prevented the increase in anxiety related behavior of in the OFT and LDT. In conclusion, Mg-Dep leads to an enhanced depression- and anxiety-related behavior, which can be reversed by established drugs. This suggests the utility of Mg-Dep as a sceening model.