The rapid recovery of 5-HT cell firing induced by the antidepressant vortioxetine involves 5-HT3 receptor antagonism
The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP) | 24 Oct 2012
C Bétry, AL Pehrson, A Etiévant, B Ebert, C Sánchez and N Haddjeri
The therapeutic effect of current antidepressant drugs appears after several weeks of treatment and a significant number of patients do not respond to treatment. Here, we report the effects of the multi-modal antidepressant vortioxetine (Lu AA21004), a 5-HT3 and 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, 5-HT1A receptor agonist and 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor, on rat 5-HT neurotransmission. Using in vivo electrophysiological recordings in the dorsal raphe nucleus of anaesthetized rats, we assessed the acute and subchronic effects of vortioxetine and/or the selective 5-HT3 receptor agonist, SR57227 or the selective 5-HT1A receptor agonist flesinoxan, on 5-HT neuronal firing activity. Using ex-vivo autoradiography, we correlated SERT occupancy and presumed 5-HT firing activity. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine, was used as comparator. Importantly, the recovery of 5-HT neuronal firing was achieved after 1 d with vortioxetine and 14 d with fluoxetine. SR57227 delayed this recovery. In contrast, vortioxetine failed to alter the reducing action of 3 d treatment of flesinoxan. Acute dosing of vortioxetine inhibited neuronal firing activity more potently than fluoxetine. SR57227 prevented the suppressant effect of vortioxetine, but not of fluoxetine. In contrast, flesinoxan failed to modify the suppressant effect of vortioxetine acutely administered. Differently to fluoxetine, vortioxetine suppressed neuronal firing without saturating occupancy at the SERT. Vortioxetine produced a markedly faster recovery of 5-HT neuronal firing than fluoxetine. This is at least partly due to 5-HT3 receptor antagonism of vortioxetine in association with its reduced SERT occupancy.
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