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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1990 Jun;10(3 Suppl):13S-20S.

Differential effect of gepirone on presynaptic and postsynaptic serotonin receptors: single-cell recording studies.

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Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The sustained administration of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine1A, 5-HT1A) agonist gepirone (15 mg/kg/day subcutaneously) in the rat produced an initial decrease of the firing activity of dorsal raphe 5-HT neurons, which was followed by a progressive recovery to normal after 14 days of treatment. At this point, the somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptor had desensitized, as indicated by the reduced effectiveness of intravenous lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and of microiontophoretic applications of 5-HT, LSD, 8-hydroxy-2-(N,N-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), and gepirone, but not of gamma-aminobutyric acid in depressing the firing activity of 5-HT neurons. In contrast, the responsiveness of postsynaptic dorsal hippocampus pyramidal neurons to 5-HT, 8-OH-DPAT, and gepirone was not altered by the 14-day gepirone treatment. In an attempt to unravel the differential effect of sustained gepirone administration on presynaptic and postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors, the properties of gepirone at these two receptors were assessed. The concurrent microiontophoretic application of gepirone readily blocked the effect of 5-HT on dorsal hippocampus pyramidal neurons, but not on dorsal raphe 5-HT neurons, thus indicating that gepirone is a partial agonist at postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors and a full agonist at somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors. It is proposed that gepirone, being a partial agonist at postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors, fails to desensitize them; whereas, because of its full agonistic activity at the somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptor, it desensitizes this autoreceptor with long-term administration.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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