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Role of 5-HT2C receptors in effects of monoamine releasers on intracranial self-stimulation in rats

Many monoamine releasers are abused by humans and produce abuse-related facilitation of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) in rats. Facilitation of ICSS in rats can be limited by monoamine releaser-induced serotonin (5-HT) release, but receptors that mediate 5-HT effects of monoamine releasers are unknown. The aim of this study is to investigate whether 5-HT2C receptor activation is necessary for rate-decreasing effects produced in an ICSS procedure in rats by the 5-HT-selective monoamine releaser fenfluramine and the non-selective releasers napthylisopropylamine (PAL-287) and (+)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ((+)-MDMA). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats with electrodes implanted in the medial forebrain bundle were trained to lever press for brain stimulation under a 'frequency-rate' ICSS procedure. Effectiveness of the 5-HT2C antagonist SB 242,084 was evaluated to block rate-decreasing effects produced by (1) the 5-HT2C agonist Ro 60-0175, (2) the 5-HT-selective releaser fenfluramine, and (3) the mixed-action dopamine (DA)/norepinephrine (NE)/5-HT releasers PAL-287 (1.0-5.6 mg/kg) and (+)-MDMA (1.0-3.2 mg/kg). For comparison, effectiveness of SB 242,084 to alter rate-decreasing effects of the kappa-opioid receptor agonist U69,593 and rate-increasing effects of the DA > 5-HT releaser amphetamine was also examined. SB 242,084 pretreatment blocked rate-decreasing effects of Ro 60-0175 and fenfluramine, but not the rate-decreasing effects of U69,593 or the rate-increasing effects of amphetamine. SB 242,084 blunted the rate-decreasing effects and enhanced expression of rate-increasing effects of PAL-287 and (+)-MDMA. These data suggest that 5-HT2C receptor activation contributes to rate-decreasing effects that are produced by selective and mixed-action 5-HT releasers in rats and that may oppose and limit the expression of abuse-related ICSS facilitation by these compounds


Bauer, CT., Banks, ML., Blough, B., & Negus, SS. (2015). Role of 5-HT2C receptors in effects of monoamine releasers on intracranial self-stimulation in rats. Psychopharmacology, 232(17), 3249-3258. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-3982-2

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