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Br J Pharmacol. 1992 Jul;106(3):603-9.

Evidence for postsynaptic mediation of the hypothermic effect of 5-HT1A receptor activation.

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Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology, London.


1. The 5-HT1A ligand BMY 7378 (8-[2[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]8-azaspirol [4,5]-decane-7,9-dione dihydrochloride, 0.032-2 mg kg-1, s.c.) caused hyperphagia, a response to the activation of presynaptic 5-HT1A receptors. 2. BMY 7378 (8 mg kg-1, s.c.) and the 5-HT1A agonist (8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), 0.10 and 0.25 mg kg-1 s.c.) also caused hypothermia. This was inhibited by (-)-pindolol (1-mg kg-1, i.p.) and not prevented by pretreatments with p-chlorophenylalanine which grossly depleted 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) from terminal regions. The hypothermic effects are explicable by activation of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors. Infusion of BMY 7378 (8-64 micrograms) into the dorsal raphe was without convincing hypothermic effect. 3. BMY 7378 (8 mg kg-1, s.c.) inhibited another effect of activation of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors, i.e., the induction of components of the 5-HT syndrome by 8-OH-DPAT (0.5, 1.0 mg kg-1, s.c.) which suggests that BMY 7378 has antagonistic as well as agonistic effects at these sites. 4. Partial agonist properties of BMY 7378 at postsynaptic sites were also indicated by doses for hypothermia being much greater than those for hyperphagia i.e., ED50 (hypothermia) greater than 2 mg kg-1, ED50 (hyperphagia) = 0.010 mg kg-1. This contrasts with the similar ED50 values for both the hypothermic (ED50 = 0.08-0.10 mg kg-1) and hyperphagic (ED50 = 0.06-0.10 mg kg-1) effects of 8-OH-DPAT.5. The evidence obtained for mediation of the hypothermic response to 5-HTIA agonists by postsynaptic sites is relevant to the interpretation of the effects on it of antidepressant treatments and depressive illness.

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