Mechanisms underlying remediation of depression-associated anxiety by chronic N-acetyl cysteine treatment
Anxiety is one of the most comorbid conditions with major depressive disorder (MDD). Depression-associated anxiety often stems from the dysfunctional hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its altered regulation by the amygdala. Furthermore, MDD is associated with altered glutamatergic processing leading to anxiety and impaired regulation of the HPA axis. Recent studies have demonstrated that N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a pleiotropic drug, exerts antidepressant-like effect by modulation of hippocampal functions, periterminal release of glutamate, and/or redox systems. However, the effects of NAC on depression-associated anxiety, HPA axis hyperactivity, and amygdalar dysfunctions are relatively unknown.