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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1993 Apr;17(2):411-7.

Potential role of 5HT1C and/or 5HT2 receptors in the mianserin-induced prevention of anxiogenic behaviors occurring during ethanol withdrawal.

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Department of Pharmacology, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Forth Worth 76107.


A single dose of mianserin (a 5HT1C/5HT2 antagonist), administered 1 hr, 48 hr, or 7 days before testing, was evaluated for its efficacy in alleviating or preventing the occurrence of anxiogenic behaviors observed during ethanol withdrawal. Other behavioral experiments using selected drug interactions were conducted to examine whether the effect of mianserin was related to a long-term modification of 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (5HT) receptor function. Rats were fed a liquid diet containing 4.5% ethanol for 4 days. They were tested on the elevated plus-maze (EPM) 12 hr (acute withdrawal) and 5 days (protracted withdrawal) after the last ethanol dose. Ethanol withdrawal induced a pattern of "anxiogenic" behavior that consisted of reduced activity (total entries) and a reduced proportion of open arm activity. Mianserin, injected as a single dose given either 1 hr (0.16-5 mg/kg, ip) before testing or given (20 mg/kg, ip) on the morning of the 3rd day of ethanol administration, i.e., 48 hr and 7 days before testing, dose-dependently prevented or reversed the ethanol withdrawal induced reduction in open-arm activity. In contrast, the 5HT1C/5HT2 receptor agonist (+/- )-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane HCl (DOl) did not affect behaviors in the EPM in ethanol-naive rats, nor in those undergoing ethanol withdrawal. However, although there was a marked tolerance to DOl-induced body shakes (a measure of 5HT2 function) during withdrawal, DOl reversed the action of mianserin in the EPM. The 5HT1 receptor agonist, 5HT2 receptor antagonist 1-naphthyl-piperazine (1-NP) reduced open-arm activity in ethanol-naive rats and this action was enhanced during withdrawal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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