Physiological, pathophysiological and therapeutic
roles of 5-HT systems in learning and memory

by
Meneses A
Terapeutica Experimental,
Departamento de Farmacologia y Toxicologia
CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico City, Mexico.
Rev Neurosci 1998; 9(4):275-89


ABSTRACT

Multiple 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors have been identified (5-HT1A/1B/1D/1E/1F, 5-HT2A/2B/2C, 5-HT3A/3B, 5-HT4A/4B, 5-HT5A/5B, 5-HT6 and 5-HT7A/7B/7C/7D) and extensive evidence suggests that 5-HT receptors have a role in learning and memory. Indeed, available evidence strongly supports physiological, pathophysiological and therapeutic roles of 5-HT systems in cognitive processes, although the evidence seems incomplete. Indeed, there has been a clear tendency to use pre-learning administration most frequently, whereas post-learning and pre-retention administration protocols have been utilized in only a few studies, and probably this trend has led to missed relevant information. For instance, when pre- vs post-training administration of 5-HT1A agonist, 5-HT2 antagonists and 5-HT4 agonists have been compared contrasting findings were reported in aversive and appetitive learning tasks. Emerging evidence also indicates that 5-HT1A and 5-HT4 receptor agonists, as well as, 5-HT1A antagonists, 5-HT2 antagonists, 5-HT3 antagonists and 5-HT uptake inhibitors may have therapeutic utility in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and amnesia. Inasmuch as the activation or blockade of diverse 5-HT receptors is able to modulate cognitive processes, and 5-HT uptake inhibition could have therapeutic applications in the treatment of cognitive disorders, it seems evident that the role of 5-HT in learning and memory is more complex than a simple imbalance. Consequently, the notion that activation of the 5-HT systems impairs performance, whereas reduced serotonergic function may facilitate learning, must be reconsidered.
SSRIs
5-HT2
5-HT3
5-HT1a
5-HT1b
Serotonin
Buspirone
Nefazodone
Sibutramine
5-HT2C/5-HT2B
Serotonin research
Serotonergic drugs
Alzheimer's disease
Serotonin: structure
Serotonin and aggression
Serotonin-releasing agents
Serotonin and psychedelics
SSRIs and sexual functioning
Serotonin and the autoreceptors
Are SNRIs more effective than SSRIs?
Serotonin, noradrenaline and social behavior
Off-label use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)


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