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1. Systemic administration of phenethylamine-derived, 5-hydroxytryptamine(2) (5-HT(2)) receptor agonists inhibits the firing of midbrain 5-HT neurones, but the 5-HT receptors involved are poorly defined, and the contribution of peripheral mechanisms is uncertain. This study addresses these issues using extracellular recordings of 5-HT neurones in the dorsal raphe nucleus of anaesthetised rats. 2. The 5-HT(2) receptor agonists DOI ((+/-)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine hydrochloride) and DOB ((+/-)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromoamphetamine hydrobromide), caused a dose-related (10-100 micro g kg(-1) i.v.) inhibition of 5-HT neuronal activity, with the highest dose reducing firing rates by >80%. 3. Pretreatment with the 5-HT(2) receptor antagonist ritanserin (1 mg kg(-1) i.v.) completely blocked the action of DOI. The 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonist MDL 100,907 (0.2 mg kg(-1) i.v.) blocked the action of both DOI and DOB. In comparison, the 5-HT(2B/C) receptor antagonist SB 206553 (0.5 mg kg(-1) i.v.) caused a small, but statistically significant, shift to the right in the dose response to DOI and DOB. 4. Pretreatment with the peripherally acting 5-HT(2) receptor antagonist BW 501C67 (0.1 mg kg(-1) i.v.) had no effect on the DOI-induced inhibition of 5-HT cell firing, but completely blocked the DOI-induced rise in mean arterial blood pressure. 5. These data indicate that the inhibition of 5-HT cell firing induced by systemic administration of DOI and DOB is mediated predominantly by the 5-HT(2A) receptor-subtype, but that 5-HT(2B/C) receptors also play a minor role. Moreover, central and not peripheral mechanisms are involved. Given evidence that 5-HT(2) receptors are not located on 5-HT neurones, postsynaptic 5-HT feedback mechanisms are implicated.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





998 - 1004


Alfaxalone Alfadolone Mixture, Animals, Chloral Hydrate, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Male, Raphe Nuclei, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2B, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C, Serotonin, Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Agonists, Serotonin Receptor Agonists, Synaptic Transmission