Effects of N-acetylcysteine amide on anxiety and stress behavior in zebrafish. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of N-acetylcysteine amide on anxiety and stress behavior in zebrafish.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2019 Nov 25. Epub 2019 Nov 25. PMID: 31768573
Carlos G Reis
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Their etiology is related to stress, an adaptive response of the organism to restore homeostasis, in which oxidative stress and glutamatergic hyperactivity are involved. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a multitarget approved drug proved to be beneficial in the treatment of various mental disorders. Nevertheless, NAC has low membrane permeability and poor bioavailability and its limited delivery to the brain may explain inconsistencies in the literature. N-Acetylcysteine amide (AD4) is a synthetic derivative of NAC in which the carboxyl group was modified to an amide. The amidation of AD4 improved lipophilicity and blood-brain barrier permeability and enhanced its antioxidant properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of AD4 on behavioral and biochemical parameters in zebrafish anxiety models. Neither AD4 nor NAC induced effects on locomotion and anxiety-related parameters in the novel tank test. However, in the light/dark test, AD4 (0.001 mg/L) increased the time spent in the lit side in a concentration 100 times lower than NAC (0.1 mg/L). In the acute restraint stress protocol, NAC and AD4 (0.001 mg/L) showed anxiolytic properties without meaningful effects on oxidative status. The study suggests that AD4 has anxiolytic effects in zebrafish with higher potency than the parent compound. Additional studies are warranted to characterize the anxiolytic profile of AD4 and its potential in the management of anxiety disorders.