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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1995 Feb;351(2):119-25.

Effect of prolonged administration of tianeptine on 5-HT neurotransmission: an electrophysiological study in the rat hippocampus and dorsal raphe.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Extracellular unitary recordings of dorsal hippocampus CA3 pyramidal neurons and of dorsal raphe 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurons were used to assess the effect of tianeptine, a putative antidepressant, on the efficacy of 5-HT neurotransmission. Sustained tianeptine administration (20 mg/kg/day, s.c. x 14 days) did not modify the firing activity of 5-HT neurons in the dorsal raphe. Their responsiveness to the intravenous injection of LSD, an agonist of the somatodendritic 5-HT autoreceptor, and of 8-OH-DPAT, a selective 5-HT1A agonist, was also unaffected by this treatment. The responsiveness of CA3 pyramidal neurons to microiontophoretic application of 5-HT remained unchanged after sustained tianeptine administration, but it was markedly enhanced in rats treated with repeated electroconvulsive shocks. Finally, the duration of suppression of firing activity of CA3 pyramidal neurons produced by electrical stimulation of the ascending 5-HT pathway, delivered at 1 Hz and 5 Hz, was not modified in rats treated with tianeptine. Methiothepin, an antagonist of the terminal autoreceptor enhanced the effectiveness of 5-HT pathway stimulation to the same extent in control and tianeptine-treated rats. The present results indicate that, administered at a dose known to stimulate 5-HT reuptake (20 mg/kg/day, s.c.; by minipump), and for a period of time (14 days) for which other antidepressant treatments have been shown to enhance 5-HT function, tianeptine does not modify the efficacy of 5-HT synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampus.

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