Serotonergic modulation of rat pineal gland activity: In vivo evidence for a 5-hydroxytryptamine(2c) receptor involvement

Carla Cannizzaro, Luigia Trabace, Mario Maj, Vincenzo Cuomo, Palmiero Monteleone, Luca Steardo

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23 Citations (Scopus)


There are some suggestions that, in the pineal gland, serotonin acts not only as a precursor of melatonin but also plays a role in the modulation of the pineal biosynthetic activity. To corroborate this possible neuromodulatory role of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) (5-HT) on the pineal gland, the effects of two 5-HT2 receptor agonists meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP) and 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane were assessed in vivo on pineal N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity and melatonin content in rats. m-CPP potentiated the enhancement of NAT activity and pineal melatonin content induced by isoproterenol administration during daytime, whereas it did not affect the diurnal basal biosynthetic activity of the gland. At night, m-CPP and 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane enhanced significantly the physiological increases in both pineal NAT activity and melatonin content. This enhancement was prevented by pretreatment with N-(1-methyl-5-indolyl)-N'-(3-pyridyl) urea hydrochloride, an antagonist with higher affinity for 5-HT(2B/C) than for 5-HT(2A) receptor, as well as by pretreatment with 8-[5-(2,4-dimethoxy-5-(4-trifluoromethyl-phenylsulphonamido)-phenyl-5-oxopent hyl]-1,3,8-triazospiro[4,5]decane-2,4-dione, the most specific 5-HT(2C) receptor now available, but not by pretreatment with ketanserin, an antagonist with higher affinity for 5-HT(2A) than for 5-HT(2C) receptor. These results suggest that 5-HT(2C) receptors are likely involved in the mediation of the serotonergic modulation of pineal biosynthetic activity in rats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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