Magnesium (Mg), is not only a modulator of the glutamatergic NMDA receptors' affinity, it also prevents HPA axis hyperactivity, thus possibly being implicated in neurobiological features of mood disorders. Further uncovering of molecular mechanisms underlying magnesium's proposed effects is needed due to the recent shift in research of treatment resistant depression (TRD) towards glutamatergic pathways. Here, we applied Mg via drinking water for 28 days (50 mg/kg/day), in ACTH-treated rats, an established animal model of depression resistant to tricyclic antidepressants. Using this model in male rats we measured (1) changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and behavioral alterations, (2) adrenal hormones response to acute stress challenge and (3) levels of biometals involved in regulation of monoamines turnover in rat prefrontal cortex. Our results support beneficial behavioral impact of Mg in TRD model together with increased hippocampal neurogenesis and BDNF expression. Furthermore, Mg prevented ACTH-induced disruption in HPA axis function, by normalizing the levels of plasma ACTH, corticosterone and interleukin-6, and by increasing the peripheral release of adrenaline, noradrenaline and serotonin after the acute stress challenge. Finally, the influence on copper/zinc ratio suggested probable magnesium's involvement in monoamine turnover in PFC. Our findings provide further insights into the possible pathways implicated in the behavioral modulation effects of Mg, as well as its central and peripheral effects in ACTH-induced TRD model. Thus, further investigation of molecular signaling related to the glutamatergic transmission and role of Mg, could reveal prospects to novel treatment strategies that could be of particular importance for patients suffering from TRD
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