Long‐term fluoxetine administration causes substantial lipidome alteration of the juvenile macaque brain

Anna Tkachev, Elena Stekolshchikova, Daniil M. Bobrovskiy, Nickolay Anikanov, Polina Ogurtsova, Dong Ik Park, Anja K.E. Horn, Daria Petrova, Ekaterina Khrameeva, Mari S. Golub, Christoph W. Turck, Philipp Khaitovich

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Fluoxetine is an antidepressant commonly prescribed not only to adults but also to children for the treatment of depression, obsessive‐compulsive disorder, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The adverse effects of the long‐term treatment reported in some patients, especially in younger individuals, call for a detailed investigation of molecular alterations induced by fluoxetine treatment. Two‐year fluoxetine administration to juvenile macaques revealed effects on impulsivity, sleep, social interaction, and peripheral metabolites. Here, we built upon this work by assessing residual effects of fluoxetine administration on the expression of genes and abundance of lipids and polar metabolites in the prelimbic cortex of 10 treated and 11 control macaques representing two monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotypes. Analysis of 8871 mRNA transcripts, 3608 lipids, and 1829 polar metabolites revealed substantial alterations of the brain lipid content, including significant abundance changes of 106 lipid features, accompanied by subtle changes in gene expression. Lipid alterations in the drug‐treated animals were most evident for polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A decrease in PUFAs levels was observed in all quantified lipid classes excluding sphingolipids, which do not usually contain PUFAs, suggesting systemic changes in fatty acid metabolism. Furthermore, the residual effect of the drug on lipid abundances was more pronounced in macaques carrying the MAOA‐L genotype, mirroring reported behavioral effects of the treatment. We speculate that a decrease in PUFAs may be associated with adverse effects in depressive patients and could potentially account for the variation in individual response to fluoxetine in young people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8089
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Antidepressant
  • Depression
  • Fluoxetine
  • Lipidomics
  • Lipids
  • Macaca mulatta
  • PUFA
  • Transcriptomics


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