Effects of Some 5-Hydroxytryptamine and Related Ligands in Anxiety Models

  • Kung'u Njung'e

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Drugs acting at 5-HT receptors were evaluated on three animal models of anxiety. On the elevated X-maze test the majority of 5-HT1 agonists were found to be anxiogenic. However, ipsapirone was anxiolytic and buspirone and gepirone were inactive. The 5-HT2 agonist DOI and the 5-HT2 antagonist ritanserin were anxiolytic while ICI 169,369, a 5-HT2 antagonist was inactive. All 5-HT3 antagonists tested were inactive in this test, while the indirect serotomimetics zimeldine and fenfluramine were anxiogenic. Neither beta-adrenoceptor agonists nor antagonists had reproducible effects on anxiety in this model. Combined beta-1/beta-2 adrenoceptor antagonists reversed the anxiogenic effects of 8-OH-DPAT while selective beta-1 or beta-2 antagonists did not. On the social interaction model the 5-HT1 agonists 8-OH-DPAT, RU 24969 and 5-MeODMT were anxiogenic and ipsapirone was anxiolytic. The 5-HT2 agonist DOI and the beta-adrenoceptor- and 5-HT- antagonist pindolol were anxiolytic, while the 5-HT2 and 5-HT3 antagonists were inactive. In the marble burying test, the 5-HT upake inhibitors zimeldine, fluvoxamine, indalpine and citalopram, the 5-HT1B/5-HT1C agonists mCPP and TFMPP and the 5-HT2/5-HT1C agonist DOI reduced marble burying without affecting locomotor activity. 5-HT1A agonists and the 5-HT2 and 5-HT3 antagonists were without effect. Lesions of the dorsal raphe nucleus reversed the anxiogenic effects of 8-OH-DPAT in the X-maze model. The implication of these results for the understanding of the pharmacology of 5-HT in anxiety is discussed.
Date of Award1989
Original languageEnglish


  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • ligands
  • anxiety models

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