Repeated finasteride administration promotes synaptic plasticity and produces antidepressant‐ and anxiolytic‐like effects in female rats

    March 2024 in “Journal of Neuroscience Research
    Jose Nayana, B.S. Shankaranarayana Rao, Bettadapura N. Srikumar
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    TLDR Finasteride may reduce depression and anxiety in female rats and improve brain connectivity.
    The study conducted by the Department of Neurophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in India investigated the effects of repeated finasteride administration in female rats. Finasteride, commonly used in treating female-pattern hair loss, hirsutism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, was administered at doses of 10, 30, or 100 mg/Kg for 6 days. The study found that finasteride decreased depression-like behavior and anxiety-like behavior in the rats. Additionally, it led to a significant increase in plasma estradiol and a significant decrease in plasma corticosterone level. The study also found that finasteride increased hippocampal long-term potentiation, suggesting it may enhance synaptic plasticity. These results indicate that repeated finasteride administration in female rats may have antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects, potentially mediated by enhanced estradiol levels or decreased corticosterone levels. Further studies are needed to validate the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects.
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