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J Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jan;27(1):3-12. doi: 10.1177/0269881112463126. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Role of 5-hydroxytryptamine 1B (5-HT1B) receptors in the regulation of ethanol intake in rodents.

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  • 1University of Toledo, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


Evidence indicates that the serotonergic system is important in mediating dependence on and craving for alcohol. Among serotonin receptors, 5-hydroxytryptamine 1B (5-HT1B) receptors have been associated with drug abuse including alcohol. In this review, the neurocircuitry involving 5-HT1B receptors in central reward brain regions related to alcohol intake are discussed in detail. Emphasis has been placed on the pharmacological manipulations of 5-HT1B receptor-mediated alcohol intake. Furthermore, 5-HT1B auto- and hetero-receptors regulate alcohol intake through the regulatory mechanism involving release of 5-HT, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine, and glutamate is evaluated. Thus, interactions between 5-HT1B receptors and these neurotransmitter systems are suggested to modulate alcohol-drinking behavior. This review on the role of 5-HT1B receptors in neurotransmitter release and consequent alcohol intake provides important information about the potential therapeutic role of 5-HT1B receptors for the treatment of alcohol dependence.

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