Evidence from in situ studies supports the role of anti-apoptotic factors in the antidepressant responses of certain psychotropics. The availability of anti-ceramidase pro-apoptocic compound (LCL385) provides an opportunity to test in vivo the relation between hippocampal apopotosis and learned helplessness. Method: 40 Sprague-Dawley male rodents underwent an FST after a treatment with LCL385, desipramine (DMI), or placebo (SAL) over 3 days. Behavioral responses, including immobility, swimming and climbing were counted during the 6 min test. Western blot labeling was used to detect anti-apoptosis in hippocampus. Results: DMI alone was associated with reduced immobility and increased climbing whereas LCL385 alone showed a decrease in Bcl-2/β-actin ratio. Conclusions: Direct modulation of Bcl-2 expression in the hippocampus is not associated with learned helplessness in stressed rats. Three-day administration of DMI and LCL385 show divergent effects on behavioral and anti-apoptotic measures.