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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Jul;33(8):1929-41. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Neurokinin 1 receptor antagonism promotes active stress coping via enhanced septal 5-HT transmission.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacy and Center for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. karl.ebner@uibk.ac.at

Abstract

Antagonists of the substance P (SP) preferring neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) represent a promising novel class of drugs for the treatment of stress-related disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders; however, the involved neuronal pathways releasing SP in response to stressors are ill defined. By using in vivo microdialysis in combination with a highly sensitive and selective radioimmunoassay we found that exposure to forced swim stress increased SP release in the rat lateral septum (LS), a key area in processing emotions and stress responses. Acute administration of the selective NK1R antagonist L-822429 injected either systemically or locally into the LS reduced passive and facilitated active stress-coping strategies in the forced swim test. This effect seems to be mediated by enhanced intraseptal serotonergic transmission via serotonin (5-HT)1A receptors since NK1R blockade reversed the swim stress-induced decrease to an increase in extracellular 5-HT efflux, and furthermore the behavioral effects of L-822429 were blocked by intraseptal 5-HT1A receptor antagonism. A direct heterosynaptic regulation by NK1R on 5-HT release from serotonergic fibers was ruled out by immunocytochemistry at the light and electron microscopic level indicating involvement of GABAergic interneuron(s) in this interaction. Taken together, our data identify the LS as a critical brain area for the involvement of SP transmission in the modulation of stress responses and demonstrate that NK1R blockade can elicit a functionally significant facilitatory effect on 5-HT transmission, which does not necessarily involve the previously proposed interaction with neuronal firing at the cell body level of raphe neurons.

PMID:
17957216
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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