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Eur J Pharmacol. 1993 Jul 20;238(2-3):173-80.

Multiple mechanisms of serotonin 5-HT2 receptor desensitization.

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Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.


Desensitization of serotonin 5-HT2 receptor-mediated enhancement of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) depolarization was studied in rat cortical neurons. Serotonin and (+/-)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) induced long term desensitization. Staurosporine, a nonspecific protein kinase C inhibitor, potentiated the serotonin and DOI facilitation, suggesting acute desensitization was operative. In the case of DOI, long term desensitization was prevented by staurosporine. Activators of protein kinase C abolished the serotonin facilitation, an action prevented by staurosporine. Concanavalin A potentiated the facilitation at 100 microM, but not 30 microM serotonin, suggesting these receptors undergo dose dependent internalization. Calmodulin antagonists prevent long term desensitization induced by serotonin. The depolarization induced by NMDA alone was not altered by staurosporine, protein kinase C activators, concanavalin A or calmodulin antagonists. Serotonin at 100 microM, but not 30 microM, induced heterologous desensitization of phenylephrine and carbachol induced facilitation of the NMDA depolarization. We conclude that serotonin 5-HT2 receptors both induce and undergo several forms of desensitization.

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