Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 338, Issue 5, pp 463–471 | Cite as

The 5-HT1A receptor agonist, 8-OH-DPAT, preferentially activates cell body 5-HT autoreceptors in rat brain in vivo

  • S. Hjorth
  • T. Magnusson


The present study was undertaken in an attempt to assess whether the effects of the potent and selective 5HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin, 8-OH-DPAT, on cerebral 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurochemistry in vivo are mediated via 5-HT autoreceptors on the cell bodies or on the terminals, and/or via postsynaptic 5-HT receptors. To this end we determined in vivo indices of 5-HT synthesis and release/turnover rates in a number of prominent 5-HT neuronal projection areas in the CNS i) after systemic administration of 8-OH-DPAT to rats with an acute unilateral axotomy of the ascending mesencephalic monoamine neurones, or ii) after local infusion of the compound into the dorsal raphé (DRN) 5-HT cell body region of intact rats. Transection did not alter 5-HT synthesis per se, but prevented the synthesis-inhibitory effect of 8-OH-DPAT. Thus, the 5-HT synthesis-inhibiting action of 8-OH-DPAT is highly dependent upon intact impulse flow in the central 5-HT neurones. On the other hand, local DRN application of the compound (1 μg) resulted in a clearcut reduction of the 5-HT synthesis and release indices measured in 5-HT terminals in, e. g., the striatum. These findings provide direct neurochemical evidence that by preferentially stimulating somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors, 8-OH-DPAT inhibits the 5-HT neuronal impulse flow, thereby effectuating decreased terminal 5-HT synthesis and release. Taken together, the data are consistent with the suggestion that 8-OH-DPAT acts as an agonist preferentially at cell body vs. terminal 5-HT autoreceptors, therefore also emphasizing the distinction between terminal and cell body 5-HT autoreceptors. The results obtained may have important implications for the understanding of mechanisms involved in regulating the activity of central serotoninergic neurones.

Key words

8-OH-DPAT [8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin] 5-HT1A receptors CNS 5-HT synthesis and release Hemitransection Dorsal raphé application Regulation of 5-HT activity Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Hjorth
    • 1
  • T. Magnusson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of GöteborgGöteborgSweden

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