Facilitation of 5-HT1A-mediated neurotransmission in dorsal periaqueductal grey matter accounts for the panicolytic-like effect of chronic fluoxetine.Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 Sep; 13(8):1079-88.IJ
Chronic administration of antidepressants such as fluoxetine and imipramine increases the responsiveness of 5-HT(1A) receptors in dorsal periaqueductal grey matter (DPAG), a midbrain area consistently implicated in the pathogenesis of panic disorder. This effect has been related to the clinically relevant anti-panic action of these drugs. In this study we determined whether long-term administration of fluoxetine also affects 5-HT efflux in DPAG. As a comparison, the effect of chronic treatment with the anxiolytic 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist buspirone on DPAG 5-HT levels was assessed. We also investigated whether the inhibitory effect of chronic fluoxetine on escape behaviour in the rat elevated T-maze, considered as a panicolytic-like effect, is counteracted by intra-DPAG injection of the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist WAY 100635. Male Wistar rats were treated (1 or 21 d, i.p.) with fluoxetine, buspirone or vehicle, once daily. After treatment, 5-HT in DPAG was measured by in-vivo microdialysis coupled to HPLC. In another study, rats treated (21 d, i.p.) with either fluoxetine or vehicle also received intra-DPAG injection of WAY 100635 or saline 10 min before being tested in the elevated T-maze. Chronic, but not acute, administration of fluoxetine significantly raised extracellular levels of 5-HT in DPAG. Long-term treatment with buspirone was ineffective. In the elevated T-maze, intra-DPAG injection of WAY 100635 fully blocked the anti-escape effect of chronic administration of fluoxetine. Therefore, chronic fluoxetine facilitates 5-HT(1A)-mediated neurotransmission within DPAG and this effect accounts for the panicolytic-like effect of this antidepressant in the elevated T-maze.