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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000 Mar;148(4):344-9.

Ipsapirone challenge in aggressive men shows an inverse correlation between 5-HT1A receptor function and aggression.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry and Guy's King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London, UK.


Previous studies have suggested that 5-HT(1A) receptor function is linked to aggression. We studied 12 healthy men selected to have high trait levels of aggression. They filled in various self-rating measures of aggression, and underwent a double blind, crossover challenge with ipsapirone (20 mg orally) and a placebo. On both occasions, we measured the endocrine (ACTH, cortisol, growth hormone and prolactin), hypothermic and bodily symptom responses every 30 min for 180 min. We found that subjects with blunted neuroendocrine responses to the ipsapirone challenge had significantly higher self-ratings of aggression on a number of measures. The same relationship held using the bodily symptom response to ipsapirone: blunted responses were associated with higher ratings of aggression. We conclude that impaired 5-HT(1A) receptor function is associated with increased aggressiveness.

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