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Journal Article

Serotonin 1A receptors and sexual behavior in a genetic model of depression

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Schijven, D., Sousa, V. C., Roelofs, J., Olivier, B., & Olivier, J. D. A. (2014). Serotonin 1A receptors and sexual behavior in a genetic model of depression. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 121, 82-87. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2013.12.012.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-ABFB-2
The Flinder Sensitive Line (FSL) is a rat strain that displays distinct behavioral and neurochemical features of major depression. Chronic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are able to reverse these symptoms in FSL rats. It is well known that several abnormalities in the serotonergic system have been found in FSL rats, including increased 5-HT brain tissue levels and reduced 5-HT synthesis. SSRIs are known to exert (part of) their effects by desensitization of the 5-HT1A receptor and FSL rats appear to have lower 5-HT1A receptor densities compared with Flinder Resistant Line (FRL) rats. We therefore studied the sensitivity of this receptor on the sexual behavior performance in both FRL and FSL rats. First, basal sexual performance was studied after saline treatment followed by treatment of two different doses of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist ±8-OH-DPAT. Finally we measured the effect of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist to check for specificity of the 5-HT1A receptor activation. Our results show that FSL rats have higher ejaculation frequencies compared with FRL rats which do not fit with a more depressive-like phenotype. Moreover FRL rats are more sensitive to effects of ±8-OH-DPAT upon EL and IF than FSL rats. The blunted response of FSL rats to the effects of ±8-OH-DPAT may be due to lower densities of 5-HT1A receptors.