Reduction of feeding behavior by the serotonin uptake inhibitor sertraline

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1988;96(3):289-95. doi: 10.1007/BF00216052.


Administration of the selective serotonin (5-HT) uptake inhibitor sertraline produced a dose-dependent reduction of food intake in rats. Doses of sertraline of 10 mg/kg or greater reduced the intake of solid pellets significantly (P less than 0.01) during the 1st hour of a 4-h feeding test in rats deprived of food and water for 24 h. Food intake during the remaining 3 h and water intake during the feeding test was unaffected by sertraline. Sertraline (2-18 mg/kg IP) also reduced milk consumption in food-deprived rats. Pretreatment with the nonselective 5-HT antagonists metergoline (2 mg/kg IP) or methysergide (3.3 mg/kg IP) blocked sertraline's inhibition of dry food intake, whereas pretreatment with the selective 5-HT2 receptor antagonist ketanserin (3.3 mg/kg IP) or the peripheral 5-HT2 antagonist xylamidine (2.5 mg/kg IP) failed to block sertraline's anorexic effect. The feeding-suppressant effect of 10 mg/kg sertraline was prevented following the destruction of central 5-HT neurons by the 5-HT neurotoxic agent, 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (200 micrograms ICV). This result is consistent with sertraline's anorexic effect depending on intact 5-HT neurotransmission. Therefore, sertraline appears to reduce feeding by enhancing the action of endogenous serotonin at central synapses mediated by 5-HT1 rather than 5-HT2 receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 1-Naphthylamine / analogs & derivatives
  • 1-Naphthylamine / pharmacology*
  • 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Amines / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Sertraline
  • Telencephalon / metabolism


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Naphthalenes
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine
  • 1-Naphthylamine
  • Sertraline
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine