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Neurochem Res. 2002 Feb;27(1-2):113-20.

Up-regulation of 5-HT2B receptor density and receptor-mediated glycogenolysis in mouse astrocytes by long-term fluoxetine administration.

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Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China.


The effects were studied of short-term (1 week) versus long-term (2-3 weeks) fluoxetine treatment of primary cultures of mouse astrocytes, differentiated by treatment with dibutyryl cyclic AMP. From previous experiments it is known that acute treatment with fluoxetine stimulates glycogenolysis and increases free cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i]) in these cultures, whereas short-term (one week) treatment with 10 microM down-regulates the effects on glycogen and [Ca2+]i, when fluoxetine administration is renewed (or when serotonin is administered). Moreover, antagonist studies have shown that these responses are evoked by activation of a 5-HT2, receptor that is different from the 5-HT2A receptor and therefore at that time tentatively were interpreted as being exerted on 5-HT2C receptors. In the present study the cultures were found by RT-PCR to express mRNA for 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors, but not for the 5-HT2C receptor, identifying the 5-HT2 receptor activated by fluoxetine as the 5-HT2B receptor, the most recently cloned 5-Ht2 receptor and a 5-HT receptor known to be more abundant in human, than in rodent, brain. Both short-term and long-term treatment with fluoxetine increased the specific binding of [3H]mesulergine, a ligand for alL three 5-HT2 receptors. Long-term treatment with fluoxetine caused an agonist-induced up-regulation of the glycogenolytic response to renewed administration of fluoxetine, whereas short-term treatment abolished the fluoxetine-induced hydrolysis of glycogen. Thus, during a treatment period similar to that required for fluoxetine's clinical response to occur, 5-HT2B-mediated effects are initially down-regulated and subsequently up-regulated.

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