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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002 Apr;71(4):727-34.

Role of serotonin(2C) receptors in the control of brain dopaminergic function.

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  • 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, 66030 Santa Maria Imbaro, Chieti, Italy.


There is substantial evidence that the functional status of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) system originating in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is under a phasic and tonic inhibitory control by the serotonergic system, which acts by stimulating serotonin(2C) (5-HT(2C)) receptor subtypes. This assertion is based upon a number of electrophysiological and biochemical data showing that 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists decrease, while 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonists enhance mesocorticolimbic DA function. On the other hand, it does not seem that 5-HT(2C) receptors play a relevant role in the control of nigrostriatal DA system originating in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). The authors of this article review the most relevant data regarding the role of 5-HT(2C) receptors in the control of brain DA function and underline the importance of this subject in the search of new therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, drug addiction, and Parkinson's disease.

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