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

Brain 5-HT and inhibition of aggressive behavior in animals: 5-HIAA and receptor subtypes.

Evolutionary constant serotonin (5-HT) neuronal systems evolved along medial brain structures; yet, wide variations in functionality characterize serotonergic systems in mediating aggressive responses in species ranging from lobsters, ants, electric fish, and rodents to primates. So far, the attempts to correlate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels with measures of aggression have revealed inverse, direct, or no correlations in different nonhuman primate species. It is difficult to harmonize the occasional correlations between CSF 5-HIAA and adaptive aggressive acts in nonhuman primates (a) with clinically diagnosed suicidal or impulsive individuals, and (b) with the biochemical, anatomical, and presumably functional differentiation of 5-HT pathways and receptor subtypes. Eltoprazine, a mixed 5-HT1A/B agonist, and meta-trifluoro-methylphenyl-piperazine HCl (TFMPP), a more selective 5-HT1B agonist, specifically decrease aggressive behavior in several animal species and situations in both sexes without detriment to other social, exploratory, or motoric activities. A definite role for 5-HT1A, 5-HT2, and 5-HT3 receptor subtypes in the mechanisms mediating aggressive behaviors has to await the development of selective agonists and antagonists, respectively.[1]


  1. Brain 5-HT and inhibition of aggressive behavior in animals: 5-HIAA and receptor subtypes. Miczek, K.A., Mos, J., Olivier, B. Psychopharmacology bulletin. (1989) [Pubmed]
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