Article date: 1986/4/16
PubMed ID: 2871894
Journal name: Brain research (ISSN: 0006-8993)
The neuroanatomical site of the inhibitory influence of anxiolytics on central serotonergic transmission has been investigated in the rat by studying the effect of systemic or intracerebral administration of these drugs on cerebral serotonin (5-HT) synthesis. Systemic administration of diazepam (3 mg/kg s.c.) or flunitrazepam (1 mg/kg, s.c.) caused a reduction of 5-HT synthesis (as measured by the accumulation of 5-hydroxytryptophan after inhibition of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase) in the hippocampus but not in the cerebral cortex, striatum, cerebellum or spinal cord of the rat. Zopiclone (22 mg/kg, s.c.) decreased the amine synthesis in hippocampus, striatum and prefrontal cortex. The decrease of hippocampal 5-HT synthesis induced by diazepam (5 mg/kg, s.c.) was antagonized by the benzodiazepine antagonist Ro 15-1788 (2 X 30 mg/kg, s.c.) but not by bicuculline (2 X 1 mg/kg, s.c.). Acute cerebral hemitransection or electrolytic lesion of the fasciculus retroflexus did not prevent the ability of diazepam (5 mg/kg, i.p.) to diminish hippocampal 5-HT synthesis. Local infusion of diazepam (15 micrograms) of flurazepam (1.5 micrograms) into the hippocampus of conscious rats (via indwelling cannulae) markedly reduced 5-HT synthesis in this brain area whereas infusion of these drugs into the raphé medianus (origin of the serotonergic afferents to the hippocampus) failed to affect hippocampal 5-HT synthesis. In contrast, local injection of muscimol (25-150 ng) into the raphé medianus reduced 5-HT synthesis in the hippocampus. This effect of muscimol was potentiated by a systemic administration of diazepam or an intra-raphé medianus infusion of flurazepam (at doses or concentrations which exhibited no intrinsic activity). It is concluded from these data that anxiolytic drugs exert an inhibitory influence on hippocampal serotonergic neurons which is mediated primarily via GABA-independent benzodiazepine receptors located in the vicinity of serotonergic nerve terminals.
Author List: Nishikawa T, Scatton B
Publication Types: Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Substances mentioned in the article: Anti-Anxiety Agents; Azabicyclo Compounds; Piperazines; zopiclone; Serotonin; Flunitrazepam; Diazepam;
Mesh terms: Animals; Anti-Anxiety Agents/pharmacology; Azabicyclo Compounds; Central Nervous System/drug effects; Cerebellum/drug effects; Corpus Striatum/drug effects; Diazepam/pharmacology; Flunitrazepam/pharmacology; Frontal Lobe/drug effects; Hippocampus/drug effects; Male; Piperazines/pharmacology; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Serotonin/metabolism; Synaptic Transmission/drug effects;