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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 Oct;31(10):2162-72. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Blockade of 5-HT1A receptors by (+/-)-pindolol potentiates cortical 5-HT outflow, but not antidepressant-like activity of paroxetine: microdialysis and behavioral approaches in 5-HT1A receptor knockout mice.

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Laboratoire de Neuropharmacologie EA 3544, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris-Sud, Châtenay-Malabry Cedex, France.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like paroxetine (Prx) often requires 4-6 weeks to achieve clinical benefits in depressed patients. Pindolol shortens this delay and it has been suggested that this effect is mediated by somatodendritic 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) 1A autoreceptors. However clinical data on the beneficial effects of pindolol are conflicting. To study the effects of (+/-)-pindolol-paroxetine administration, we used genetical and pharmacological approaches in 5-HT1A knockout mice (5-HT1A-/-). Two assays, in vivo intracerebral microdialysis in awake mice and the forced swimming test (FST), were used to assess the antidepressant-like effects of this drug combination. Basal levels of extracellular serotonin, 5-HT ([5-HT]ext) in the frontal cortex (FCX) and the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) did not differ between the two strains of mice, suggesting a lack of tonic control of 5-HT1A autoreceptors on nerve terminal 5-HT release. Prx (1 and 4 mg/kg) dose-dependently increased cortical [5-HT]ext in both genotypes, but the effects were greater in mutants. The selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, WAY-100635 (0.5 mg/kg), or (+/-)-pindolol (5 and 10 mg/kg) potentiated the effects of Prx (4 mg/kg) on cortical [5-HT]ext in 5-HT1A+/+, but not in 5-HT1A-/- mice. Similar responses were obtained following local intra-raphe perfusion by reverse microdialysis of either WAY-100635 or (+/-)-pindolol (100 microM each). In the FST, Prx administration dose-dependently decreased the immobility time in both strains of mice, but the response was much greater in 5HT1A-/- mice. In contrast, (+/-)-pindolol blocked Prx-induced decreases in the immobility time while WAY-100635 had no effect in both genotypes. These findings using 5-HT1A-/- mice confirm that (+/-)-pindolol behaves as an antagonist of 5-HT1A autoreceptor in mice, but its blockade of paroxetine-induced antidepressant-like effects in the FST may be due to its binding to other neurotransmitter receptors.

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