Antidepressant-like activity of fish oil, with and without fluoxetine, in two behavioral despair paradigms in experimental mice

Tariq Al-Araimi, Yarab M. Al Bulushi, Badreldin H. Ali, Musthafa Mohamed Essa*, Samir Al-Adawi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: There is a plethora of studies indicating temporal relationship between utilization of Omega-3-fatty acids and amelioration of emotional distress including depression. Some studies have also emerged to indicate the role of fish oil (FO) as adjunct therapy for depressive symptoms in clinical literature. In order for such view to have heuristic value, pre-clinical behavioral paradigms are needed to scrutinize whether FO has efficacy as adjunct therapy for depressive symptoms. In order to fill the gap in the literature, this study examined the effects of FO on behavior in untreated mice, and mice treated with the antidepressant drug fluoxetine. Method: Male/female mice were randomly grouped and orally treated for 28 days with saline (control), FO (0.05 or 0.1 mL/day), fluoxetine alone (10 mg/kg), and fluoxetine (1 or 10 mg/kg) given with FO (0.05 or 0.1 mL / day). After 28 days, the mice were subjected to two indices of despair and helplessness, viz forced swimming test (FST), and tail suspension test (TST) along with motor activity. Results: In the FST, FO at two different doses (0.05mL or 0.1 mL) decreased the immobility time and this effect was not potentiated by combining fluoxetine. In TST, FO significantly decreased the immobility time compared to control (saline) at same doses and this effect that was not potentiated by adding fluoxetine. Motor activity was not significantly affected by any of the treatments. Conclusion: FO displayed anti-depressant - like action suggested by the FST and TST. Combined treatment with fluoxetine and FO did not significantly affect the performance of mice on these two tests. This suggest FO has direct bearing on the present reported behavioral paradigm of despair and helplessness. Future studies to explore molecular the molecular mechanisms behind the presently observed behavioral effect of FO in this animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Depression
  • Fish oil
  • Fluoxetine
  • Forced swimming test
  • Tail suspension test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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