Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Studies on the neural effects of Erythropoietin (EPO) indicate that EPO may have antidepressant effects. Due to its hematopoietic effects, EPO may cause serious side-effects with repeated administration if patients are not monitored extensively. ARA290 is an EPO-analog peptide without such hematopoietic side-effects but may have neurotrophic and antidepressant effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible antidepressant effects of ARA290 in a neuropsychological model of drug action. Healthy participants (N=36) received ARA290 (2mg) or placebo in a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group design. Neural and cognitive effects were assessed one week after administration. Primary outcome measures were the neural processing of fearful vs happy faces and the behavioral recognition of emotional facial expressions. ARA290-treated individuals displayed lower neural responses to happy faces in the fusiform gyrus. ARA290 tended to lower the recognition of happy and disgust facial expressions. Although ARA290 was not associated with a better memory for positive words, it was associated with faster categorization of positive vs negative words. Finally, ARA290 increased attention towards positive emotional pictures. No effects were observed on mood and affective symptoms. ARA290 may modulate some aspects of emotional processing, however, the direction and the strength of its effects do not unequivocally support an antidepressant-like profile for ARA290. Future studies may investigate the effects of different timing and dose.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.09.005

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol

Publication Date

12/2015

Volume

25

Pages

2289 - 2299

Keywords

ARA290, Antidepressants, Erythropoietin, Neuropsychological model of drug action, Adolescent, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Antidepressive Agents, Brain, Cognition, Double-Blind Method, Emotions, Facial Expression, Female, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Mental Recall, Oligopeptides, Oxygen, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult