Ten new 3,5-diphenyl-2-pyrazoline derivatives were synthesised by reacting 1,3-diphenyl-2-propen-1-one with hydrazine hydrate. The chemical structures of the compounds were proved by means of their IR, H-1-NMR spectroscopic data and microanalyses. The antidepressant activities of these compounds were evaluated by the 'Porsolt Behavioural Despair Test' on Swiss-Webster mice. 3-(4-Methoxyphenyl)-5-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-2-pyrazoline, 3-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-(2-chloro-3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-2-pyrazoline and 3-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-(2-chloro-3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-2-pyrazoline reduced 41.94-48.62% immobility times at 100 mg kg(-1) dose level. In addition, it was found that 4-methoxy and 4-chloro substituents on the phenyl ring at position 3 of the pyrazoline ring increased the antidepressant activity; the replacement of these groups by bromo and methyl substituents decreased activity in mice. (C) 2001 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.