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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001 May;22(5):229-32.

Role of 5-HT(2C) receptors in the control of central dopamine function.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, 66030 Santa Maria Imbaro (Chieti), Italy.


Substantial evidence suggests that the functional status of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system originating in the ventral tegmental area is under a phasic and tonic inhibitory control by the 5-HT system that acts by stimulating 5-HT(2C) receptor subtypes. Indeed, electrophysiological and biochemical data demonstrate that 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists decrease, whereas 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonists enhance, mesocorticolimbic DA function. However, 5-HT(2C) receptors do not appear to play a relevant role in the control of the nigrostriatal DA system originating in the substantia nigra pars compacta. In this article, the role of 5-HT(2C) receptors in the control of brain DA function will be reviewed, and the search for new therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and drug addiction, based on these findings will be discussed.

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