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Several clinical investigations have suggested that captopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), currently used as an antihypertensive agent, exhibited antidepressant properties in humans. The present experiment was evaluated for potential antidepressive activity of captopril on the learned helplessness paradigm in rats. Captopril (8, 16, 32 mg/kg/day, IP) induced a reversal of escape deficits but did not affect significantly the motor activity, suggesting that this effect was not due to motor stimulation. This antidepressant-like activity was comparable to that of imipramine (16, 32 mg/kg/day, IP). Naloxone (0.5; 1 mg/kg, IP) blocked the effect of captopril (16 mg/kg, IP) in this test. These results suggest that an opioid mediation could be responsible at least in part for its behavioral effect.
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Received in revised form: October 3, 1989
Received: March 29, 1989
© 1990 Published by Elsevier Inc.