Neurochemical evaluation of the novel 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist/serotonin reuptake inhibitor, vilazodone
Hughes ZA, Starr KR, Langmead CJ, Hill M,
Bartoszyk GD, Hagan JJ, Middlemiss DN, Dawson LA.
Neuropharmacology Research,
Psychiatry CEDD, Glaxo Smith Kline,
New Frontiers Science Park,
Third Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5AW, UK.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Mar 7;510(1-2):49-57.


Vilazodone has been reported to be an inhibitor of 5-hydoxytryptamine (5-HT) reuptake and a partial agonist at 5-HT1A receptors. Using [35S]GTPgammaS binding in rat hippocampal tissue, vilazodone was demonstrated to have an intrinsic activity comparable to the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT). Vilazodone (1-10 mg/kg p.o.) dose-dependently displaced in vivo [3H]DASB (N,N-dimethyl-2-(2-amino-4-cyanophenylthio)benzylamine) binding from rat cortex and hippocampus, indicating that vilazodone occupies 5-HT transporters in vivo. Using in vivo microdialysis, vilazodone (10 mg/kg p.o.) was demonstrated to cause a 2-fold increase in extracellular 5-HT but no change in noradrenaline or dopamine levels in frontal cortex of freely moving rats. In contrast, administration of 8-OH-DPAT (0.3 mg/kg s.c.), either alone or in combination with a serotonin specific reuptake inhibitor (SSRI; paroxetine, 3 mg/kg p.o.), produced no increase in cortical 5-HT whilst increasing noradrenaline and dopamine 2 and 4 fold, respectively. A 2-fold increase in extracellular 5-HT levels (but no change in noradrenaline or dopamine levels) was observed after combination of the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist, N-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-N-(pyridinyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide) (WAY-100635; 0.3 mg/kg s.c.) and paroxetine (3 mg/kg p.o.). In summary, vilazodone behaved as a high efficacy partial agonist at the rat hippocampal 5-HT1A receptors in vitro and occupied 5-HT transporters in vivo. In vivo vilazodone induced a selective increase in extracellular levels of 5-HT in the rat frontal cortex. This profile was similar to that seen with a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist plus an SSRI but in contrast to 8-OH-DPAT either alone or in combination with paroxetine.
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