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Pharmacol Ther. 1995 Mar;65(3):319-95.

5-Hydroxytryptamine-interacting drugs in animal models of anxiety disorders: more than 30 years of research.

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Laboratoire de Psychophysiologie, Strasbourg, France.


An overview of the behavioral data arising from the vast literature concerning the involvement of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurotransmission in the regulation of anxiety is presented. More than 1300 experiments were carried out in this area and they provide evidence that: (1) results obtained in ethologically based animal models of anxiety with drugs stimulating 5-HT transmission are most consistent with the classic 5-HT hypothesis of anxiety in that they show an increase in animals' emotional reactivity; (2) no category of anti-anxiety models are selectively sensitive to the anxiolytic-like effects of drugs targetting 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptor subtypes; (3) anxiolytic-like effects of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, in the great part, are revealed by models based on spontaneous behaviors. Taken together, these observations lead to the conclusion that different 5-HT mechanisms, mediated by different receptor subtypes, are involved in the genesis of anxiety.

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