Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 343, Issue 4, pp 353–364 | Cite as

Species differences in presynaptic serotonin autoreceptors: mainly 5-HT1B but possibly in addition 5-HT1D in the rat, 5-HT1D in the rabbit and guinea-pig brain cortex

  • N. Limberger
  • R. Deicher
  • K. Starke


The pharmacological properties of presynaptic serotonin autoreceptors were compared in slices of rat, rabbit, and guinea-pig brain cortex. The slices were preincubated with 3H-serotonin and then superfused with medium containing fluvoxamine 3 μmol/l and stimulated four times by trains of four pulses delivered at 100 Hz. Cumulative concentration-response curves were determined and used for the calculation of agonist EC50 values and maximal effects and antagonist KB values.

Unlabelled serotonin itself and the serotonin receptor agonists 5-carboxamidotryptamine (5-CT), 5-methoxy-3-(1,2,3,6-tetrahydro-4-pyridinyl)-1H-indole (RU 24969) and (±)-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) reduced the stimulation-evoked overflow of tritium with a rank order of potency 5-CT = RU 24969 > serotonin > 8-OH-DPAT in the rat and 5-CT > serotonin > RU 24969 > 8-OH-DPAT in the rabbit and guinea-pig. Ipsapirone caused no change. Metitepine and metergoline antagonized the effect of 5-CT; the KB values were lower in the rabbit and guinea-pig than in the rat. Yohimbine at up to 1 μmol/1 did not reduce the evoked overflow of tritium and did not antagonize the inhibitory effect of 5-CT in the rat but reduced the evoked overflow in the rabbit and counteracted the effect of 5-CT in the guinea-pig. (−)-Propranolol, conversely, reduced the evoked overflow of tritium in the rat but neither reduced the evoked overflow nor antagonized the effect of 5-CT in the rabbit and guinea-pig. Isamoltane did not significantly change the effect of 5-CT in any species. In the rat, it also failed to antagonize the inhibitory effect of 8-OH-DPAT but did antagonize the effect of RU 24969. The inhibition caused by 8-OH-DPAT persisted in the presence of idazoxan but was attenuated by metitepine in all species.

The experimental conditions used permit the determination of the constants of agonist and antagonist action undistorted by autoinhibition. The results confirm the view that the serotonin axons of rat brain possess 5-HT1B autoreceptors. They show by direct comparison under identical conditions that the autoreceptors in rabbit and guinea-pig are very similar to each other but differ markedly from those in the rat. The results give additional credence to previous suggestions that, in the rabbit and guinea-pig, the autoreceptors are 5-HT1D. The serotonin axons of rat brain cortex may possess 5-1D in addition to 5-HT1B autoreceptors. In many previous studies agonist potencies at, and antagonist affinities for, presynaptic serotonin autoreceptors have been underestimated due to the use of too intense stimuli to elicit serotonin release.

Key words

Serotonin release Serotonin receptors Autoreceptors Species differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Limberger
    • 1
  • R. Deicher
    • 1
  • K. Starke
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmakologisches Institut der UniversitätFreiburg i. Br.Germany

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