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Br J Pharmacol. 1996 Apr;117(7):1443-8.

Effects of the 5-HT2B receptor agonist, BW 723C86, on three rat models of anxiety.

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  • 1Psychiatry Department, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Harlow, Essex.


1. BW 723C86 (3 and 10 mg kg-1, s.c. 30 min pretest), a 5-HT2B receptor agonist, increased total interaction, but not locomotion in a rat social interaction test, a profile consistent with anxiolysis. 2. The effect of BW 723C86 in the social interaction test is likely to be 5-HT2B receptor-mediated as it was prevented by pretreatment with the 5-HT2C/2B receptor antagonist, SB 200646A, (1 and 2 mg kg-1, p.o., 1 h pretest) which did not affect basal levels of social interaction at the doses used. 3. An anxiolytic-like action was also observed in the rat Geller-Seifter conflict test, where BW 723C86 (0.5-50 mg kg-1, s.c. 30 min pretest) modestly, but significantly increased punished, but not unpublished responding. 4. In a rat 5 min elevated x-maze test, BW 723C86 (1-10 mg kg-1, s.c.) had no significant effect. 5. The maximal anxiolytic-like effect of BW 723C86 approached that of the benzodiazepine anxiolytic, chloradiazepoxide (5 mg kg-1, s.c. 30 min pretest) in the social interaction test, but was markedly less in the Geller-Siefter test. The effect of BW 723C86 was also clearly less than chlordiazepoxide in the elevated x-maze procedure where it had no significant effect. 6. In conclusion, BW 723C86 exerted an appreciable anxiolytic-like profile in a rat social interaction test, but had a weaker effect in the Geller-Siefter and was ineffective in the elevated x-maze test used. These effects are likely to be 5-HT2B receptor-mediated.

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