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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1990 Nov;255(2):843-57.

Autoradiographic characterization of (+-)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-[125I] iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane ([125I]DOI) binding to 5-HT2 and 5-HT1c receptors in rat brain.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurobiology, National Institute on Drug Abuse Addiction Research Center, Baltimore, Maryland.


The 5-HT2 (serotonin) receptor has traditionally been labeled with antagonist radioligands such as [3H]ketanserin and [3H]spiperone, which label both agonist high-affinity (guanyl nucleotide-sensitive) and agonist low-affinity (guanyl nucleotide-insensitive) states of this receptor. The hallucinogen 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) is an agonist which labels the high-affinity guanyl nucleotide-sensitive state of brain 5-HT2 receptors selectively. In the present study, conditions for autoradiographic visualization of (+/-)-[125I]DOI-labeled 5-HT2 receptors were optimized and binding to slide-mounted sections was characterized with respect to pharmacology, guanyl nucleotide sensitivity and anatomical distribution. In slide-mounted rat brain sections (+/-)-[125I]DOI binding was saturable, of high affinity (KD approximately 4 nM) and displayed a pharmacologic profile typical of 5-HT2 receptors. Consistent with coupling of 5-HT2 receptors in the high-affinity state to a guanyl nucleotide regulatory protein, [125I]DOI binding was inhibited by guanyl nucleotides but not by adenosine triphosphate. Patterns of autoradiographic distribution of [125I]DOI binding to 5-HT2 receptors were similar to those seen with [3H]ketanserin- and [125I]-lysergic acid diethylamide-labeled 5-HT2 receptors. However, the density of 5-HT2 receptors labeled by the agonist [125I]DOI was markedly lower (30-50%) than that labeled by the antagonist [3H]ketanserin. High densities of [125I]DOI labeling were present in olfactory bulb, anterior regions of cerebral cortex (layer IV), claustrum, caudate putamen, globus pallidus, ventral pallidum, islands of Calleja, mammillary nuclei and inferior olive. Binding in hippocampus, thalamus and hypothalamus was generally sparse. Of note, choroid plexus, a site rich in 5-HT1c receptors had a high density of [125I]DOI binding sites but [3H]ketanserin binding in this region was low. Studies in which [125I]DOI binding to 5-HT2 receptors was blocked with spiperone revealed persisting robust [125I]DOI binding in choroid plexus, which was guanyl nucleotide-sensitive and displayed a pharmacologic profile consistent with its binding to 5-HT1c receptors. These studies suggest that [125I]DOI may be useful as a radiolabel for visualizing the agonist high-affinity state of 5-HT2 receptors and for visualizing 5-HT1c receptors.

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