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

R-citalopram inhibits functional and 5-HTP-evoked behavioural responses to the SSRI, escitalopram.

Escitalopram mediates the serotonin re-uptake inhibitory and antidepressant effect of citalopram racemate. However, recent studies have shown that R-citalopram inhibits the escitalopram-induced increase of extracellular 5-HT levels in the frontal cortex of rats. Here, we investigated the inhibitory effect of R-citalopram on the escitalopram-induced increase of 5-HT neurotransmission at the behavioural [potentiation of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)-induced behavioural changes in mice and rats] and functional (increase in serum corticosterone in rats) levels. The effect of escitalopram was inhibited by R-citalopram in all three models, and R-citalopram, given alone, was inactive. The effects were more pronounced using an escitalopram to R-citalopram ratio of 1:4 than ratios of 1:2 and 1:1, suggesting a dose-dependent effect. The ED(50)-value of escitalopram in mouse 5-HTP potentiation studies corresponded to a serum concentration of approximately 50 ng/ml, which can be considered to be in the range of clinically relevant serum concentrations.In conclusion, R-citalopram inhibited the escitalopram-induced increase of 5-HT activity in functional, as well as behavioural, animal models. The mechanism involved in this interaction is currently unknown, but may be related to an improved clinical effect seen with escitalopram in comparison with citalopram.[1]


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