Eszopiclone and fluoxetine enhance the survival of newborn neurons in the adult rat hippocampus

Xiaowei W. Su, Xiao Yuan Li, Mounira Banasr, Ronald S. Duman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Clinical research has shown that co-administration of eszopiclone, a sedative-hypnotic sleeping agent, and fluoxetine, a serotonin uptake inhibitor, exerts an additive antidepressant action in treating patients with both depression and insomnia. Preclinical studies demonstrate that the behavioural actions of antidepressants are linked to neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. To test the hypothesis that the additive effects of eszopiclone and fluoxetine could act via such a mechanism, the influence of combined administration of these agents on the proliferation and survival of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-labelled newborn cells in the hippocampus of adult rats was determined. Chronic eszopiclone+fluoxetine co-administration significantly increased the survival, but not proliferation, of newborn neurons in dorsal hippocampus by approximately 50%, an effect greater than either drug alone. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that eszopiclone enhances the antidepressant action of fluoxetine, in part via a novel mechanism that increases the survival of newborn neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1428
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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