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Positron emission tomography (PET), following an intravenous injection of [carbonyl-(11)C]WAY 100635, was used to image central 5-HT(1A) receptors in rat following pretreatment with graded doses of (-)-pindolol (0.001-3 mg/kg, i.v.). The use of PET had advantages over ex vivo radioligand binding methods in that it produced parametric image volumes and reduced errors due to inter-rat variability. Time-radioactivity curves from regions of interest (ROI) acquired from individual rats enabled the estimation of specific binding of the radioligand using a compartmental model with reference tissue input. Binding potential (BP) of [(11)C]WAY 100635 was estimated for frontal cortex and hippocampus (postsynaptic), and midbrain raphe nuclei (presynaptic). In the latter ROI, pindolol dose-dependently decreased BP. The saturation curve could be fitted to a single-site model up to the lowest dose of pindolol used, giving an ED(50) (dose to cause 50% occupancy) value of 0.26 +/- 0. 05 mg/kg, and inclusion of control (nonpindolol-treated) rats did not affect the fit. In contrast, in cortex and hippocampus ROI, low doses of pindolol caused an increase in BP compared with controls. Pindolol doses greater than approximately 0.1 mg/kg, resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in BP, and ED(50) values in cortex and hippocampus were estimated as 0.44 +/- 0.13 and 0.48 +/- 0.12 mg/kg, respectively. The increase in [(11)C]WAY 100635 binding at low pindolol doses is feasibly related to a decrease in basal receptor occupancy following reduced release of endogenous 5-HT. Considering the apparently greater potency of pindolol at the midbrain raphe ROI, this effect could be mediated via agonist activity at the autoreceptor.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





330 - 341


Animals, Brain, Carbon Radioisotopes, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Male, Pindolol, Piperazines, Pyridines, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Serotonin, Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT1, Serotonin Antagonists, Tomography, Emission-Computed