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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1989;98(2):265-8.

Enhancement of 5-HT-induced anorexia: a test of the reversibility of monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

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  • 1Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


Subcutaneous injection of 1 mg/kg 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) reduced the intake of a 10% sucrose solution in rats. A single injection of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) clorgyline enhanced the anorectic effect of 5-HT. Such an effect persists 2, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h after injection. The clorgyline treatment almost completely inhibited type A MAO activity in the liver at 2 h post-injection. By 120 h, the time at which potentiation of 5-HT induced anorexia disappeared, MAO-A activity had returned to 80% of control values. These results demonstrate that the clorgyline effect is long-lasting and irreversible. Brofaromine (5 mg/kg) and cimoxatone (20 mg/kg) also enhanced the anorectic effect of 5-HT injected 2 h later. The potentiating effects of brofaromine and cimoxatone were not observed when 5-HT was administered 24 h later. These results indicate that brofaromine and cimoxatone are short-acting, reversible inhibitors of MAO-A activity in vivo. Moclobemide (30 mg/kg) failed to enhance the anorectic action of 5-HT injected 2 and 24 h later. The potentiation of 5-HT induced anorexia may be a useful behavioural test for investigating the degree of reversibility, and time course of action of MAOIs.

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