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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Dec;271(3):1647-55.

Evidence that ACTH secretion is regulated by serotonin2A/2C (5-HT2A/2C) receptors.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL 60153.


The present study characterized the serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtypes mediating adrenal corticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone responses to 5-HT agonists in conscious rats. The 5-HT2A/5-HT2C agonist (+/-(-)1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane HC1 (DOI) increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone in a dose-dependent manner. The 5-HT2A/5-HT2C antagonist ritanserin (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg sc) inhibited the DOI-induced increase in plasma ACTH, but not corticosterone. Low doses of spiperone (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg sc) significantly reduced the ACTH response to DOI. Because spiperone has a higher affinity for 5-HT2A than 5-HT2C receptors, these data suggest that DOI stimulates ACTH secretion through 5-HT2A receptors. 5-methoxy-3-[1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-4-pyridinyl]-1H-indole (RU 24969) is a potent 5-HT1A/1B and moderate 5-HT2C agonist that also has been suggested to release 5-HT. However, p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) did not reduce the effect of RU 24969 on plasma ACTH, suggesting that RU 24969 only acts as a direct agonist. 6-methyl-1-[1-methylethyl]ergoline-8-carboxylic acid (LY53857) injected into the lateral cerebral ventricles (i.c.v.) inhibited the ACTH, but not corticosterone response to peripheral injection of RU 24969, suggesting that central 5-HT2A/2C receptors mediate the ACTH response. LY53857 injection (i.c.v.) also inhibited the effect of p-chloroamphetamine (i.c.v.) on plasma ACTH. However, the corticosterone response was not inhibited by LY53857, suggesting a distinct location of 5-HT receptors regulating corticosterone secretion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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