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

Ultrasonic vocalizations in rat pups: effects of serotonergic ligands.

Ligands with varying intrinsic activity and selectivity for the various subtypes of the serotonin receptor were tested in the rat pup ultrasonic vocalization (USV) model, a putative animal model reflecting anxiety. USV were elicited by isolating rat pups from their mother and littermates by placing them on a warm (37 degrees C) or a cold (18 degrees C) plate. Concurrently, the negative geotaxic (NG) response and rectal temperature were determined to assess the potentially sedative and hypothermic effects of putative anxiolytics. USV were reduced at low doses and in both temperature conditions by the full 5-HT1A receptor agonists flesinoxan and 8-OH-DPAT (8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin.HBr) and the partial 5-HT1A receptor agonists buspirone, ipsapirone and BMY 7378 (2-[4-[4-[2-pyrimidinyl]-1,2-piperazinyl]butyl]-1,2-benzi-isoth iozol-3-(2H)one-1,1-dioxide. 2HCl). The 5-HT1A receptor antagonists NAN-190 (1-(2-methoxyphenyl)-4-[4-(2-phtalimido)-butyl]piperazide.2H Cl), (+/-)-WAY 100,135 (+/-)-(N-tert-butyl-3(4-(2-methoxy phenyl)piperazin-1 -yl)-2-phenyl propionamine.2HCl), and ((S)-UH-301 (S)-5-fluoro-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propyl-amino)tetralin.HBr) reduced USV at higher doses and only in one of both test conditions. The selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist DU 125530 (2-[4-[4[(7-chloro-2,3dihydro-4-benzodioxin-5-yl)-1-piperazi nyl]butyl]-1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one-1,1, dioxide, monomesylate), did not influence USV at the cold plate up to high doses, although concomitantly the negative geotaxis was disturbed. The negative geotaxis was impaired after all 5-HT1A receptor ligands, except BMY 7378 and (+/-)-WAY 100,135. Hypothermia coincided with USV-suppression, except for NAN-190 and (S)-UH-301. The USV-suppressing action of flesinoxan (3 mg/kg) could be antagonized by DU 125530, but not its NG effect. However, the hypothermia induced by flesinoxan was antagonized by DU 125530. USV were also suppressed by the 5-HT uptake inhibitors fluvoxamine (both warm and cold plate) and clomipramine (only warm plate). The tricyclic antidepressant imipramine only decreased USV on the cold plate, however, in a U-shaped dose-response curve. At the highest dose tested, no decrease was present. The 5-HT uptake stimulant tianeptine reduced USV under both conditions. Fluvoxamine had no side effects, clomipramine induced hypothermia and tianeptine clearly had sedative properties. The 5-HT1B/2C receptor agonist TFMPP (trifluorometaphenylpiperazine) stimulated USV at a low dose at the cold plate and suppressed USV at a high dose under both conditions. The 5-HT2A/2C receptor antagonist ketanserine enhanced USV at low doses under both conditions and had no effect at a higher dose. Concurrently heavy sedation and hypothermia occurred. The 5-HT3 receptor agonist phenylbiguanide and the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist ondansetron had no effect in this paradigm. Clearly, subtypes of the 5-HT receptor affect rat pup USV differentially.[1]


  1. Ultrasonic vocalizations in rat pups: effects of serotonergic ligands. Olivier, B., Molewijk, H.E., van der Heyden, J.A., van Oorschot, R., Ronken, E., Mos, J., Miczek, K.A. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. (1998) [Pubmed]
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