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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992 Jan;49(1):21-8.

Serotonergic function in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to oral m-chlorophenylpiperazine and fenfluramine in patients and healthy volunteers.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.


To evaluate serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine) function in obsessive-compulsive disorder, behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to m-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP; 0.5 mg/kg orally) and fenfluramine hydrochloride (60 mg orally) were examined in 20 patients and 10 healthy controls under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions. Following m-CPP, but not fenfluramine or placebo, 55% (11/20) of the patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder experienced a transient exacerbation of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prolactin response was blunted in patients following m-CPP but not following fenfluramine. Patients with greater behavioral response to m-CPP had smaller prolactin responses. Cortisol response to m-CPP and fenfluramine did not significantly differ between the groups. Behavioral and neuroendocrine responses appeared divergent. This does not suggest simply upregulation or downregulation of 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors, but rather complex mechanisms involving multiple neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems.

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