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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

R-citalopram counteracts the effect of escitalopram in a rat conditioned fear stress model of anxiety.

S-citalopram (escitalopram) mediates the serotonin reuptake inhibitory effect of the racemate, R,S-citalopram. The effect of escitalopram (0.5-3.9 mg/kg) was investigated in a rat conditioned fear stress model of anxiety and compared to the effects of R-citalopram (1.0-7.8 mg/kg), R,S-citalopram (4.0 and 8.0 mg/kg), and escitalopram (2.0 mg/kg)+R-citalopram (7.8 mg/kg). Diazepam (0.95 mg/kg) and buspirone (4.6 mg/kg) were included as positive controls. During an acquisition session, rats were allowed to freely explore a novel cage for 9 min. During that time, they received two inescapable footshocks through an electrifiable grid floor. Groups of nonshocked control rats were run in parallel. During an expression session on the next day, rats were treated with drug or vehicle 30 min before they were reintroduced into the test cage for a 9-min period this time without receiving footshocks and the total distance travelled was recorded. The distance travelled by vehicle-treated rats was markedly suppressed compared to a vehicle-treated group of nonshocked controls. Escitalopram produced a dose-dependent inhibition of the conditioned suppression of exploratory behaviour (minimal effective dose 1.0 mg/kg). Interestingly R,S-citalopram 4.0 and 8.0 mg/kg produced significantly smaller effect than escitalopram 2.0 and 4.0 mg/kg, receptively. R-citalopram, 7.8 mg/kg, produced a significant effect. However, in spite of this, R-citalopram (7.8 mg/kg) significantly inhibited the effect of escitalopram (2.0 mg/kg). The activity in drug-treated nonshocked groups was similar to the vehicle-treated group, except for the buspirone-treated group where a significant reduction was observed. The finding that R-citalopram inhibits the effect of escitalopram may be relevant to the improved clinical efficacy seen with escitalopram compared to R,S-citalopram in the treatment of anxiety and depression.[1]


  1. R-citalopram counteracts the effect of escitalopram in a rat conditioned fear stress model of anxiety. Sánchez, C., Gruca, P., Bien, E., Papp, M. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. (2003) [Pubmed]
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