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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1986 Mar;24(3):701-7.

Serotonergic mechanisms in the behavioral effects of buspirone and gepirone.


The literature describing the role of serotonin (5-HT) in the mediation of anxiety is a controversial one. Serotonergic involvement in the mechanism of action of two nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics, buspirone and gepirone, supports a role for serotonin in anxiety. The anticonflict effect of both drugs is blocked by serotonin lesions, and gepirone induces the serotonin syndrome. A shift in the gepirone dose-response curve to the left in serotonin lesioned rats suggests that this may be 5-HT-receptor mediated. Both buspirone and gepirone enhance the acoustic startle response and gepirone's effect is attenuated in serotonin lesioned animals. While other components of buspirone's mechanism of action may suppress the behavioral expression of its serotonergic interactions, results from these studies suggest that serotonin agonist-like activity may be an important mechanism in the actions of a clinically proven nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic (buspirone), and anxiolytic candidate (gepirone).

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