, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 90-96

Evidence that 5-HT2C receptor antagonists are anxiolytic in the rat Geller-Seifter model of anxiety

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Abstract

Four non-selective 5-HT2C/5-HT2A receptor antagonists, mianserin (2–8 mg/kg), 1-naphthyl piperazine (1-NP) (0.5–1 mg/kg), ICI 169,369 (20 mg/kg) and LY 53857 (5 mg/kg), increased punished responding for a food reward in the rat Geller-Seifter test 30 min after subcutaneous (SC) administration. This property was shared by the benzodiazepine anxiolytic chlordiazepoxide (5 mg/kg SC). However, the selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonists ketanserin (0.2–1 mg/kg SC) and altanserin (0.5, 1 mg/kg SC) had little effect. The 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B andβ-adrenergic receptor antagonists pindolol and cyanopindolol (6 mg/kg SC) did not affect punished responding either, nor did the 5-HT1D receptor partial agonist andα 2 adrenergic receptor antagonist yohimbine (2.5 mg/kg SC) or the histamine H1 receptor antagonist mepyramine (1 mg/kg SC). Unpunished responding was also modestly increased after some doses of the 5-HT2C/5-HT2A receptor antagonists. However, this effect was inconsistent and was also seen after chlordiazepoxide. Furthermore, it was not associated with the increase in punished responding observed in rats orally treated with mianserin (10, 20 mg/kg), 1-NP (10, 20 mg/kg) or ICI 169,369 (50 mg/kg). The action of the 5-HT2C/5-HT2A receptor antagonists tested is therefore consistent with anxiolysis. The results also strongly suggest that this effect is mediated by blockade of the 5-HT2C receptor, although the possibility of 5-HT2B receptor mediation is discussed.