Key words Antidepressant
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In a recent study, utilizing single cell recording techniques, we have shown that administration of 5-HT1A receptor antagonists, e.g. (S)-UH-301, to rats concomitantly treated, acute or chronically, with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram significantly increases the activity of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) containing neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). Here we report correlative experiments using microdialysis in freely moving animals to measure extracellular levels of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) in the frontal cortex, a major projection area for DRN-5-HT neurons. Acute administration of (S)-UH-301 (2.5 mg/ kg s.c.) or citalopram (2.0 mg/kg s.c.) increased 5-HT concentrations with a maximum of about 70% and 185%, respectively, above baseline. However, when (S)-UH-301 was administered 30 min before citalopram the maximal increase in 5-HT levels was approximately 400%. In rats chronically treated with citalopram (20 mg/kg/day i.p. for 14 days) basal 5-HT concentrations in the frontal cortex were significantly increased and 5-HIAA concentrations were decreased when measured 10–12 h, but not 18–20 h, after the last injection of citalopram, as compared to basal 5-HT and 5-HIAA concentrations in chronic saline-treated rats. When (S)-UH-301 (2.5 mg/kg s.c.) was administered 12 h, but not 20 h, after the last dose of citalopram it produced a significantly larger increase in extracellular concentrations of 5-HT than in control rats. However, in rats pretreated with a single, very high dose of citalopram, 20 mg/kg i.p., administration of (S)-UH-301 at 12 h after citalopram did not increase 5-HT levels. The augmentation by (S)-UH-301 of the increase in brain 5-HT output produced by acute administration of citalopram is probably due to antagonism of the citalopram induced feedback inhibition of 5-HT cells in the DRN, as previously suggested. However, the capacity of (S)-UH-301 to further increase the already elevated extracellular concentrations of 5-HT in brain in animals maintained on a chronic citalopram regimen, in which significant tolerance to the initial feedback inhibition of DRN-5-HT cells had developed, represents a novel finding. Generally, the reduced feedback inhibition of 5-HT neurons obtained with chronic citalopram treatment, and the associated elevation of brain 5-HT concentrations, may be related to functional desensitization of somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors in the DRN. This phenomenon may also largely explain the larger increase in 5-HT output produced by (S)-UH-301 in chronic citalopram treated animals as compared to its effect in control animals. Yet, a contributory factor may be a slight, remaining feedback inhibition of the 5-HT cells caused by residual citalopram at 12, but not 20 h after its last administration. Previous clinical studies suggest that addition of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist to an SSRI in the treatment of depression may accelerate the onset of clinical effects. Moreover, in therapy-resistant cases maintained on SSRI treatment, addition of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist may improve clinical efficacy. Since the therapeutic effect of SSRIs in depression has been found to be critically linked to the availability of 5-HT in brain, our experimental results support, in principle, both of the above clinically based notions.
Type of Medium: