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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1995 Dec;352(6):597-606.

Effect of chronic administration of the selective serotonin (5-HT) uptake inhibitor citalopram on extracellular 5-HT and apparent autoreceptor sensitivity in rat forebrain in vivo.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA.


Rats were administered the selective serotonin (5-HT) uptake blocker citalopram or saline for 14 days to determine if prolonged treatment would lead to changes in extracellular 5-HT or autoreceptor sensitivity. One day after drug withdrawal, dialysis probes were implanted in the frontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus. Dialysis experiments were carried out using chloral hydrate anesthetized rats. The experimental protocol comprised the administration of three consecutive drug challenges: (1) After stable baseline levels were obtained, citalopram was infused through the dialysis probes to locally block uptake in the forebrain. (2) Subsequently, a 5-HT1B receptor agonist (RU24969 or CP93,129) was infused through the probe to test for changes in terminal autoreceptor sensitivity. (3) Last, citalopram was administered systemically to test the effect of indirect activation of somatodendritic autoreceptors. Under these conditions, with uptake already blocked locally in the forebrain, systemic citalopram produces a decrease in extracellular 5-HT, an effect that can be inhibited by pretreatment with antagonists of 5-HT1A receptors. The results indicate that during local infusion of citalopram extracellular 5-HT was significantly higher in the dorsal hippocampus of the chronic citalopram as compared to saline treatment group. This difference persisted throughout the full time course of the experiment. However, the decreases in 5-HT levels produced by local infusion of a 5-HT1B receptor agonist or after systemic citalopram administration were not significantly different between the chronic citalopram and saline treated groups. There were no significant differences between chronic citalopram and saline treated animals in frontal cortex. These results suggest that prolonged inhibition of 5-HT uptake may produce a selective change in the regulation of release from median raphe 5-HT neurons, but this change could not be clearly linked to a change in nerve terminal or somatodendritic autoreceptor sensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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