Psychiatry Res 2018 11 29;269:529-535. Epub 2018 Aug 29.
Department of Oncology, The Affiliated Jiangyin Hospital of Southeast University Medical College, Jiangyin, Jiangsu 214400, PR China. Electronic address:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychiatric disorder. Estazolam has been shown to produce anxiolytic-, hypnotic-, amnestic-, and sedative-like effects. However, few studies are concerned about its anti-PTSD-like effects. The anti-PTSD-like effects of estazolam were evaluated by single prolonged stress animal model. After exposure to single prolonged stress, rats (Sprague-Dawley, male, 8 weeks) were administered by estazolam (0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) from day 2 to 13 once daily. The behavioral assessments were performed during treatment with drugs. After the behavioral evaluation, the role of allopregnanolone in the anti-PTSD-like effects of estazolam was also evaluated via astrocyte cells and brain tissues (e.g. prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala). The PTSD-like behavioral deficits were significantly blocked by estazolam (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) without affecting locomotor activity. Consistently, the levels on allopregnanolone were increased by estazolam (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. The levels of allopregnanolone were increased by sertraline (1 µmoL/L) and estazolam (4 µmoL/L), while the effects were antagonized by trilostane (1 µmoL/L) and finasteride (1 µmoL/L) in astrocyte cells, respectively. Collectively, the anxiety-like behavior deficits were ameliorated by estazolam in the single prolonged stress animal model that was associated with biosynthesis of allopregnanolone.