Effect of sustained administration of the 5-HT1A
receptor agonist flesinoxan on rat 5-HT neurotransmission

Haddjeri N, Ortemann C, de Montigny C, Blier P
Neurobiological Psychiatry Unit,
McGill University,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1999 Sep; 9(5):427-40


A short-term treatment with flesinoxan (2.5 and 5 mg/kg/day x 2 days, s.c., delivered using osmotic minipumps) decreased significantly the spontaneous firing activity of dorsal raphe serotonin (5-HT) neurons of male Sprague-Dawley rats. This firing was still decreased following 1 week of treatment with flesinoxan (5 mg/kg/day) but was back to normal after a treatment of 2 weeks. This recovery of firing was associated with a 3-fold shift to the right of the dose-response curve of the effect of the 5-HT autoreceptor agonist lysergic acid diethylamide on the firing activity of 5-HT neurons, indicating a desensitization of somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors. At the postsynaptic level, long-term treatment with flesinoxan (5 mg/kg/day x 14 days) did not modify the responsiveness of dorsal hippocampus CA3 pyramidal neurons to microiontophoretic applications of 5-HT and flesinoxan nor to endogenous 5-HT released by the electrical stimulation of the ascending 5-HT pathway, indicating an unchanged sensitivity of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors. Finally, in rats treated with flesinoxan for 2 weeks, the administration of the selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist (N-2-[4(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl-N-(2-pyridinyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide trihydroxychloride (WAY 100635, 100 and 500 microg/kg, i.v.) did not increase the firing activity of dorsal hippocampus CA3 pyramidal neurons, thus failing to reveal an enhanced tonic activation of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors as for other antidepressant drugs, including the 5-HT1A receptor agonist gepirone. The marked potency and the long dissociation constant of flesinoxan for the 5-HT1A receptors may account for the latter discrepancy. In conclusion, as for selective 5-HT re-uptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and 5-HT1A receptor agonists, flesinoxan produced most of the adaptive changes exerted by these antidepressant drugs on the 5-HT system.
5HT1A and F11440

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