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Keywords:

  • oxidative stress;
  • toxicity;
  • glutathione;
  • apoptosis;
  • NF-κB

Abstract

Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are here shown to induce cell death in a neural cell line. The exposure to these drugs led to increased generation of reactive oxygen species and a concomitant reduction of intracellular glutathione levels. Furthermore, these antidepressants induced DNA fragmentation and increased the transcriptional and DNA-binding activity of NF-κB. In contrast, treatment with type A and B monoamine oxidase inhibitors did not induce changes in NF-κB activity and did not exert a detrimental influence on cell viability. These results indicate that some antidepressant drugs may cause both oxidative stress and changes in cellular antioxidative capacity, resulting in altered NF-κB activity and, ultimately, cell death.