Evidence that imipramine activates 5-HT1C receptor function

Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Oct 22;203(3):359-63. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(91)90891-s.


The anti-immobility effect of imipramine (15 mg/kg) in the forced swimming test in mice was antagonized by the non-selective 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) antagonist, metitepine (0.5 mg/kg), by the 5-HT1C/5-HT2 antagonist, mesulergine (15 mg/kg), and by the dopamine D2 antagonist, d,l-sulpiride (50 mg/kg). These three antagonists did not alter the behaviour of imipramine-treated mice in an open-field and did not reduce imipramine brain levels. The 5-HT2 antagonist, ritanserin (0.06 mg/kg), the 5-HT1A/5-HTB antagonist, l-propranolol (20 mg/kg), and the 5-HT3 antagonists, endo-2,3-dihydro-N-(8-methyl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]oct-3-yl)-2-oxo-1H- benzimidazole-1-carboxamide hydrochloride (DAU 6215; 0.1 mg/kg) and 1,2,3,9-tetrahydro-9-methyl-3[(2-methyl-1H-imidazol-1-yl)methyl]-4H- carbazol-4-one, HCl.2H2O) (GR 38032F; 0.1 mg/kg), failed to reduce imipramine-induced anti-immobility. Subthreshold doses of 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin hydrochloride (8-OH-DPAT; 0.5 mg/kg) and imipramine (7.5 mg/kg) did not synergize in reducing immobility. d,l-Sulpiride, but not mesulergine, antagonized the effect of desipramine (15 mg/kg) in the forced swimming test. All compounds were administered i.p. 6 min before imipramine or desipramine, given i.p. 30 min before the testing. Imipramine produced 50% inhibition of [3H]mesulergine binding to 5-HT1C receptors at 10 microM, a concentration below that obtained following i.p. imipramine administration. The results suggest a contribution of 5-HT1C receptors in the mechanism of the imipramine effect in the forced swimming test.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Drug Interactions
  • Imipramine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Imipramine / metabolism
  • Imipramine / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Serotonin Antagonists*
  • Swimming


  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Imipramine