Neurochemical Research

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 449–456 | Cite as

Effects ofp-chloroamphetamine on brain serotonin neurons

  • Ray W. Fuller
Original Articles


p-Chloroamphetamine (PCA) is a useful pharmacologic tool for selectively increasing brain serotonin function acutely by release of serotonin into the synaptic cleft. PCA produces behavioral, neurochemical and neuroendocrine effects believed due to serotonin release after doses in the range of 0.5–5 mg/kg. At higher doses and at longer times, PCA causes depletion of brain serotonin. The mechanisms of this depletion are not well understood but require the serotonin uptake carrier. Antagonism of PCA-induced depletion of brain serotonin is a useful means of assessing the ability of a compound to block the serotonin uptake carrier on brain serotonin neurons. PCA can also be used as a neurotoxic agent to deplete brain serotonin in functional studies, apparently by destroying some serotonergic nerve terminals. Used in this way, PCA has an advantage over 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamines in being effective by systemic injection, and it affects brain serotonergic projections with a different neuroanatomic specificity than the dihydroxytryptamines.

Key Words

p-Chloroamphetamine serotonin neurotoxicity dihydroxytryptamines 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ray W. Fuller
    • 1
  1. 1.Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and CompanyLilly Corporate CenterIndianapolis

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