Attenuation of hormone responses to the 5-HT1A agonist ipsapirone by long-term treatment with fluoxetine, but not desipramine, in male rats

Qian Li, Brownfield Mark S., Andrew D. Levy, George Battaglia, Theresa M. Cabrera, Louis D. Van de Kar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study had two objectives: (1) to provide information on neuroendocrine challenge tests that can lead to diagnostic tests in humans; and (2) to confirm our previous observation that chronic fluoxetine selectively inhibits serotonin (5-HT1A) receptor function. We determined the effect of chronic fluoxetine and desipramine (DMI) on the hormone response to ipsapirone, a 5-HT1A agonist and a potential anxiolytic drug. Ipsapirone increased oxytocin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone, and prolactin, but not renin or vasopressin concentrations in plasma. Chronic fluoxetine, but not DMI, significantly inhibited the effect of ipsapirone on plasma oxytocin, ACTH and corticosterone concentrations. Chronic fluoxetine also reduced the Bmax for 3H-8-hydroxy-2-(dipropylamino) tetralin (3H-8-OH-DPAT) labelled 5-HT1A receptors in the midbrain. Neither antidepressant altered the density or affinity of 5-HT uptake sites. In conclusion, the present results confirm our previous results using 8-OH-DPAT as a challenge, and suggest that chronic 5-HT uptake inhibition results in adaptive changes leading to decreased function of the 5-HT1A receptor system. Finally, because ipsapirone may be administered to humans, it might be usable to evaluate 5-HT1A receptor function in depressed patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-308
Number of pages9
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • ACTH
  • Serotonin
  • antidepressants
  • oxytocin
  • prolactin
  • renin
  • vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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