Repeated administration of antidepressants enhances agonist affinity for mesolimbic D2-receptors.J Pharm Pharmacol. 1989 Aug; 41(8):555-8.JP
Studies have shown an increased responsiveness of the dopaminergic system after repeated administration of a variety of antidepressant drugs. In the present study, the effect of repeated administration (twice daily for 14 days) of imipramine and mianserin on the affinity of dopamine D2-receptors for quinpirole, a D2-agonist, and on the quinpirole-induced locomotor hyperactivity was examined in rats. Repeated doses of imipramine and mianserin increased the affinity of quinpirole for [3H]spiperone binding sites in membranes prepared from the limbic system but not the striatum. The locomotor hyperactivity induced by quinpirole was enhanced by chronic treatment with both antidepressants. The data indicate that the enhanced responsiveness of the dopaminergic system in rats, observed after chronic treatment with antidepressants, may result from an increased affinity of agonists at D2-receptors in the mesolimbic system.