There is evidence that hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an extract of dried fruit rind of South Asian trees of the genus Garcinia cambogia, can reduce food intake in experimental animals. In the present study, we investigated the effect of HCA on basal and potassium-depolarization evoked increase in radiolabeled serotonin ([3H]-5-HT) release from rat brain cortex slices in vitro. HCA (10 microM-1 mM) altered the baseline of spontaneous tritium efflux but had no significant effect on potassium-evoked release of [3H]-5-HT. When applied on its own, HCA (10 microM-1 mM) elicited a concentration-dependent increase in efflux of [3H]-5-HT reaching a maximum at 300 microM. We conclude that HCA can increase the release of radiolabeled 5-HT from the isolated rat brain cortex.