5HT2C receptor agonists exhibit antidepressant-like properties in the anhedonia model of depression in rats

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1996 Aug;6(3):169-75. doi: 10.1016/0924-977x(96)00015-6.


Potential antidepressant properties of preferential 5HT2C receptor agonists were investigated in stress-induced anhedonia, a validated simulation of depression. This simulation evaluates the hedonic state of stressed rats by recording variations in self-stimulation threshold measured before, during, and after exposure to intermittent, unpredictable, mild stressors. This stress regimen gradually elevates self-stimulation threshold, suggesting the development of an anhedonic state. In stressed animals, chronic treatment with the preferential 5HT2C receptor agonists Ro 60-0175 and Ro 60-0332 (3 mg/kg i.p. b.i.d.) prevented the loss of sensitivity to reward. Similarly, when stressed anhedonic animals were curatively treated with Ro 60-0175 (3 mg/kg i.p. b.i.d.), the stress-induced anhedonia was gradually reversed. These results suggest a role for 5HT2C receptors in some aspects of depression, and potential antidepressant properties for selective 5HT2C receptor agonists. Such compounds may offer an innovative approach to the treatment of mood disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethylamines / pharmacology*
  • Indoles / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy*


  • Ethylamines
  • Indoles
  • Ro 60-0175
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists