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Behav Brain Res. 1996;73(1-2):277-80.

Role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus in 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptor-mediated oxytocin, prolactin and ACTH/corticosterone responses.

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Laboratory of Experimental Medicine, National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Budapest, Hungary.


To test the hypothesis that the mechanisms of 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptor-mediated hormonal responses are different, we compared the effects of hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) lesions on the ACTH/corticosterone, prolactin and oxytocin responses to the 5-HT1A agonist ipsapirone (1 and 2 mg/kg), the 5-HT2C agonist m-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP, 0.6 mg/kg), which also binds to other 5-HT receptors with lower affinity, and the 5-HT2A/2C agonist 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI, 1 mg/kg) in chronically cannulated, freely moving male rats. Pharmacological characterization using antagonists with different affinity for 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors revealed that DOI's responses were mediated mainly by 5-HT2A receptors and m-CPP's responses were almost exclusively mediated by 5-HT2C receptors. ACTH/corticosterone responses to ipsapirone, DOI and m-CPP were almost completely blocked after PVN lesions. Prolactin responses were significantly different in lesioned rats only after DOI and m-CPP challenges. Oxytocin responses to ipsapirone and DOI, but not m-CPP were markedly attenuated after PVN lesions. The present findings suggest that the PVN, or neural pathways close to it, mediate corticosterone and in some cases prolactin and oxytocin responses to selective stimulation of 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, or 5-HT2C receptors.

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