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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sertindole is a serotonin 5-HT2c inverse agonist and decreases agonist but not antagonist binding to 5-HT2c receptors after chronic treatment.

RATIONALE: Sertindole is a novel antipsychotic drug with high affinity for dopamine D2, alpha-1-adrenoceptors and serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2c receptors. The 5-HT2c receptor component of sertindole may be clinically relevant as this receptor subtype is implicated in regulation of anxiety, cognition/memory and brain plasticity. OBJECTIVE: To characterise the interaction of sertindole with the 5-HT2C receptor using rat choroid plexus as a physiological receptor source. RESULTS: Sertindole had nanomolar affinity for the 5-HT2c receptor in vitro. Sertindole antagonised 5-HT-stimulated phosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis and, like clozapine, also inhibited basal PI hydrolysis suggesting that sertindole is a 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonist. The effect of repeated sertindole dosing on 5-HT2C receptors was studied in rats treated for 21 days with sertindole (20, 300 and 1250 microg/kg/day). Clozapine (25 mg/kg/day) was used as a comparison drug. 5-HT2C receptor binding in the choroid plexus was measured with antagonist and agonist ligands ([3H]mesulergine and [125I]DOI) using quantitative autoradiography 8 days after withdrawal. Clozapine decreased 5-HT2C receptor antagonist and agonist binding sites equally by 36% and 32%, respectively. Sertindole did not induce significant changes in the total number of 5-HT2C receptors, but the highest dose of sertindole lowered the affinity of [3H]mesulergine for 5-HT2C receptors. This was most likely due to residual sertindole levels in the brain which was supported by direct concentration measurements. In contrast, sertindole induced a highly significant and dose-related decrease in 5-HT2C agonist binding (up to 77%). Neither drug affected striatal D2 receptor binding. CONCLUSIONS: Sertindole, like clozapine, was found to be a serotonin 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonist. The preferential downregulation of 5-HT2C receptor agonist (G-protein-coupled) sites by chronic administration seemed to differentiate sertindole from clozapine at these dose regimens. The 5-HT2c receptor downregulation during repeated dosing may contribute to therapeutic efficacy and/or side effects of sertindole treatment.[1]


  1. Sertindole is a serotonin 5-HT2c inverse agonist and decreases agonist but not antagonist binding to 5-HT2c receptors after chronic treatment. Hietala, J., Kuonnamäki, M., Pälvimäki, E.P., Laakso, A., Majasuo, H., Syvälahti, E. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (2001) [Pubmed]
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