beta-Adrenoceptor agonists enhance 5-hydroxytryptamine-mediated behavioural responses

Br J Pharmacol. 1982 Jun;76(2):265-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1982.tb09216.x.


The beta-adrenoceptor agonists, salbutamol, terbutaline and clenbuterol, were investigated for their effect on 5-hydroxytryptamine-mediated (5-HT) hyperactivity. 2 The lipophilic beta-adrenoceptor agonist, clenbuterol (5 mg/kg) enhanced the behaviours induced by quipazine (25 mg/kg), including headweaving, forepaw treading and hind-limb abduction and thus increased automated activity recording. Clenbuterol (5 mg/kg) also enhanced the hyperactivity syndrome produced by the 5-HT agonist, 5-methoxy N,N-dimethyltryptamine (2 mg/kg) and the combination of tranylcypromine (10 mg/kg) and L-tryptophan (50 mg/kg). Salbutamol and terbutaline potentiated quipazine-induced hyperactivity only when given at the higher dose of 20 mg/kg. 3 The effect of clenbuterol in enhancing quipazine hyperactivity was blocked by the centrally acting beta 1-adrenoceptor antagonist, metoprolol (5 mg/kg), but not by the beta 2-adrenoceptor antagonist, butoxamine (5 mg/kg) or the peripherally acting beta 1-adrenoceptor antagonist, atenolol (5 mg/kg). 4 Clenbuterol (5 mg/kg) did not enhance the circling responses produced by methamphetamine (0.5 mg/kg) in unilateral nigrostriatal-lesioned rats. 5 The results suggest that beta-adrenoceptor agonists in common with some established antidepressant treatments produce enhancement of 5-HT-mediated behavioural responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Clenbuterol / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine / pharmacology
  • Quipazine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Serotonin / physiology*
  • Tranylcypromine / pharmacology


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Serotonin
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Quipazine
  • Dopamine
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
  • Clenbuterol