Effect of vitamin D on depression: an experimental study


  • Rohan Kolla Department of Pharmacology, J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
  • Suneel I. Majagi Department of Pharmacology, J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India




Animal, Depression, Interaction, Imipramine, Fluoxetine, Vitamin D


Background: There is a scarcity of studies regarding antidepressant activity of vitamin D in animals while there are some contradictory reports regarding the same in humans. Therefore the present study was planned to investigate the antidepressant effect of vitamin D and its interaction with standard antidepressant drugs in animals.

Methods: Forced swim test (FST) in adult male Wistar rats and tail suspension test (TST) in adult male Swiss albino mice were used to investigate antidepressant activity of vitamin D administered in single dose and multiple doses. Imipramine, a tri-cyclic antidepressant and fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor were used as standard antidepressant drugs. For interaction studies, half the therapeutic equivalent dose of vitamin D was combined with sub-effective dose (SED) of imipramine or fluoxetine. Data was expressed as Mean±SD and analyzed by standard statistical tests. P<0.05= significant. Present study was ethically approved.

Results: Single dose administration of vitamin D did not show significant antidepressant effect either in FST or TST. Multiple dose administration of vitamin D showed significant antidepressant activity in TST but not in FST. Combination of vitamin D (half dose) with SED of either standard antidepressant drugs did not show any significant antidepressant activity. None of the treatment groups showed any significant difference on locomotor activity.

Conclusions: In the present study, multiple dose administration of vitamin D showed some antidepressant activity. Further studies are needed to confirm and elaborate the role of vitamin D in behavioral disorders like depression.


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How to Cite

Kolla, R., & Majagi, S. I. (2019). Effect of vitamin D on depression: an experimental study. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 8(9), 2033–2038. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20194112



Original Research Articles