Lack of effect of eicosapentaenoic acid in the Porsolt forced swimming test model of depression

Alona Shaldubina, Boris Nemets, Yuly Bersudsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is one of the major components of fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, have been hypothesized to play a role in the etiology, pathogenesis and treatment of mood disorders. Clinical studies have shown beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids in major depression, bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disorders. Objective: The present study design evaluates the effect of EPA in the Porsolt forced swimming test. Results: EPA alone did not reduce the immobility time and did not enhance the anti-immobility effect of a low dose of imipramine. Contrary to the hypothesis, EPA slightly increased the immobility time, and in some experiments tended to reduce the anti-despair effect of imipramine. Conclusion: The present results do not provide an animal model for the antidepressant effect of EPA as demonstrated in clinical experiments. The mechanism of EPA antidepressant action is unknown and the Porsolt forced swimming test could be non-sensitive for its antidepressant properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-206
Number of pages4
JournalActa Neuropsychiatrica
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Depression
  • Eicosapentenoic acid (EPA)
  • Omega-3
  • Porsolt forced swimming test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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