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Eur J Pharmacol. 2001 Aug 17;425(3):211-8.

Pharmacological studies of geissoschizine methyl ether, isolated from Uncaria sinensis Oliv., in the central nervous system.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Aoba, Aramaki, Sendai 980-8578, Aoba, Japan.


The pharmacological properties of geissoschizine methyl ether, isolated from Uncaria sinensis Oliv., were analyzed in vitro and in vivo using mice central serotonin neurons. In the in vitro experiment, geissoschizine methyl ether inhibited [3H]8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin) ([3H]8-OH-DPAT) (K(i)=0.8 microM), [3H]mesulergine (K(i)=0.9 microM) and [3H]ketanserin (K(i)=1.4 microM), but had less affinity toward [3H]prazosin (K(i) > 10 microM) and [3H]spiperone (K(i) >15 microM) binding to mouse brain membranes. The in vivo studies showed that geissoschizine methyl ether dose-dependently reduced 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (I-5-HTP) plus clorgyline-induced head twitch response without inhibiting the I-5-HTP plus clorgyline and 8-OH-DPAT-induced head weaving. On the other hand, geissoschizine methyl ether also decreased the rectal temperature of mice (hypothermic response) in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that geissoschizine methyl ether possesses mixed 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist/5-HT(2A/2C) receptor antagonist activities and inhibits the head twitch response by blocking the 5-HT(2A) receptors, and possibly, at least in part, by stimulating the 5-HT(1A) receptors in the central nervous system.

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