Modulation of 5-HT release in the guinea-pig brain following long-term administration of antidepressant drugs

Br J Pharmacol. 1994 Oct;113(2):485-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1994.tb17015.x.


1. The aims of the present study were to determine whether long-term 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) reuptake blockade and inhibition of type-A monoamine oxidase (MAO-A) lead to an enhancement of the electrically evoked release of tritum from guinea-pig brain slices preloaded with [3H]-5-HT, and to assess the sensitivity of the terminal 5-HT1D autoreceptor, the alpha 2-adrenoceptor also located on 5-HT terminals, and the 5-HT3 receptor that modulates 5-HT release following these two types of antidepressant treatments. 2. The electrically evoked release of tritium was significantly enhanced following a 21-day treatment with the 5-HT reuptake blocker, paroxetine and the reversible MAO-A inhibitor, befloxatone, in preloaded slices of the hypothalamus, hippocampus and frontal cortex 48 h after removal of the osmotic minipumps used to deliver the drugs. 3. The inhibitory effect of the terminal 5-HT autoreceptor agonist, 5-methoxytryptamine, on the evoked release of tritium was attenuated in slices of the hypothalamus, hippocampus, but not frontal cortex, following the paroxetine treatment. In the befloxatone group, the effectiveness of 5-methoxytryptamine was unaltered in the same brain structures. 4. The sensitivity of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor on 5-HT terminals, assessed using UK 14.304, was attenuated in hypothalamus, hippocampus, but not frontal cortex slices prepared from befloxatone-treated guinea-pigs and preloaded with [3H]-5-HT. The paroxetine treatment did not alter the sensitivity of this alpha 2-adrenoceptor in the hypothalamus. 5. The sensitivity of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor on noradrenaline terminals, also assessed using UK 14.304, was not altered in hippocampus and hypothalamus slices preloaded with [3H]-noradrenaline following the long-term befloxatone treatment. 6. In frontal cortex slices, [3H]-5-HT uptake was no longer significantly attenuated after a 21-day treatment with paroxetine, whereas it was still markedly inhibited in hypothalamus slices. The enhancing effect of paroxetine on the evoked release of [3H]-5-HT in the superfusion medium was no longer evident in frontal cortex slices of the paroxetine group. These data indicate that long-term 5-HT reuptake blockade desensitized the 5-HT transporter in the frontal cortex. 7. The capacity of the 5-HT3 receptor agonist, 2 methyl-5-HT, to enhance the electrically evoked release of tritium was not altered in hypothalamus, hippocampus, and frontal cortex slices prepared from befloxatone-treated guinea-pigs, but was significantly attenuated in the paroxetine group also treated for 21 days. Following a 2-day paroxetine treatment, the enhancing effect of 2-methyl-5-HT on tritium release was unaltered in frontal cortex slices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects*
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Frontal Lobe / drug effects
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Nerve Endings / drug effects
  • Nerve Endings / metabolism
  • Oxazoles / pharmacology
  • Paroxetine / pharmacology
  • Perfusion
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Oxazoles
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Serotonin
  • Paroxetine
  • befloxatone