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Neuropharmacology. 2000 Apr 3;39(6):1029-36.

Inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels by fluoxetine in rat hippocampal pyramidal cells.

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Department of Physiology, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.


Fluoxetine, an antidepressant which is used world-wide, is a prominent member of the class of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Recently, inhibition of voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) channels by fluoxetine has also been reported. We examined the effect of fluoxetine on voltage-gated calcium channels using the patch-clamp technique in the whole-cell configuration. In hippocampal pyramidal cells, fluoxetine inhibited the low-voltage-activated (T-type) calcium current with an IC(50) of 6.8 microM. Fluoxetine decreased the high-voltage-activated (HVA) calcium current with an IC(50) between 1 and 2 microM. Nifedipine and omega-conotoxin GVIA inhibited the HVA current by 24% and 43%, respectively. Fluoxetine (3 microM), applied in addition to nifedipine or omega-conotoxin, further reduced the current. When fluoxetine (3 microM) was applied first neither nifedipine nor omega-conotoxin attenuated the remaining component of the HVA current. This observation indicates that fluoxetine inhibits both L- and N-type currents. In addition, fluoxetine inhibited the HVA calcium current in carotid body type I chemoreceptor cells and pyramidal neurons prepared from prefrontal cortex. In hippocampal pyramidal cells high K(+)-induced seizure-like activity was inhibited by 1 microM fluoxetine; the mean burst duration was shortened by an average of 44%. These results provide evidence for inhibition of T-, N- and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels by fluoxetine at therapeutically relevant concentrations.

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