, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 289–295

Reduction of feeding behavior by the serotonin uptake inhibitor sertraline


  • Irwin Lucki
    • Behavioral Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pennsylvania
  • Margaret S. Kreider
    • Behavioral Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pennsylvania
  • Kenny J. Simansky
    • Department of PharmacologyMedical College of Pennsylvania at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF00216052

Cite this article as:
Lucki, I., Kreider, M.S. & Simansky, K.J. Psychopharmacology (1988) 96: 289. doi:10.1007/BF00216052


Administration of the selective serotonin (5-HT) uptake inhibitor sertraline produced a dose-dependent reduction of food intake in rats. Doses of sertraline of 10 mg/kg or greater reduced the intake of solid pellets significantly (P<0.01) during the 1st hour of a 4-h feeding test in rats deprived of food and water for 24 h. Food intake during the remaining 3 h and water intake during the feeding test was unaffected by sertraline. Sertraline (2–18 mg/kg IP) also reduced milk consumption in food-deprived rats. Pretreatment with the nonselective 5-HT antagonists metergoline (2 mg/kg IP) or methysergide (3.3 mg/kg IP) blocked sertraline's inhibition of dry food intake, whereas pretreatment with the selective 5-HT2 receptor antagonist ketanserin (3.3 mg/kg IP) or the peripheral 5-HT2 antagonist xylamidine (2.5 mg/kg IP) failed to block sertraline's anorexic effect. The feeding-suppressant effect of 10 mg/kg sertraline was prevented following the destruction of central 5-HT neurons by the 5-HT neurotoxic agent, 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (200 μg ICV). This result is consistent with sertraline's anorexic effect depending on intact 5-HT neurotransmission. Therefore, sertraline appears to reduce feeding by enhancing the action of endogenous serotonin at central synapses mediated by 5-HT1 rather than 5-HT2 receptors.

Key words

Serotonin 5-HT1 receptor Feeding behavior Sertraline Antidepressant drugs Rats

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988