Erowid References Database
Scearce-Levie K, Chen JP, Gardner E, Hen R.
“5-HT receptor knockout mice: pharmacological tools or models of psychiatric disorders”.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Apr 30;868:701-15.
The molecular diversity of cloned serotonin receptor subtypes in the brain makes it difficult to understand the specific modulatory roles played by different receptors. In order to understand the role of the 5-HT1B receptor subtype in behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders, we have been studying genetic knockout mice lacking the 5-HT1B receptor. The 5-HT1B knockout mice show evidence of increased aggression and impulsivity, behavioral patterns that are also associated with reduced 5-HT function. They also show reduced or absent locomotor stimulation to some serotoninergic drugs, indicating that the locomotor effects of these drugs require the 5-HT1B receptor. However, in some cases, data obtained with knockout mice conflicts with the pharmacological data. The 5-HT1B receptor knockout mice show a phenotype of increased vulnerability to drugs of abuse such as cocaine. However, pharmacological studies suggest that 5-HT1B stimulation enhances the effects of cocaine, while 5-HT1B blockade can attenuate some of the effects of cocaine. Compensations that enhance dopamine function appear to be responsible for the drug-vulnerable phenotype of 5-HT1B receptor knockout mice. By studying these compensations and changes in neural function, we can learn more about the fundamental mechanisms underlying addiction. The 5-HT1B knockout mice should be considered a model for the disease state of vulnerability to drugs of abuse, rather than a direct pharmacological model of 5-HT1B receptor function.
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