Alnespirone and buspirone have anxiolytic-like effects in a conflict procedure in rats by stimulating 5-HT(1A) receptors

L. Cervo, C. Munoz, A. Bertaglia, Rosario Samanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the anxiolytic-like activity of alnespirone and buspirone, two 5-HT(1A) receptor agonists, in a modified Geller-Seifter conflict model, and examined the role of 5-HT(1A) receptors by studying whether WAY-100635, a selective antagonist at these receptors, blocked their effects. Administered s.c. 30 minutes before testing, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg alnespirone significantly increased punished responding, whereas lower doses (0.125 and 0.25 mg/kg) had no effect. At 1 mg/kg, alnespirone significantly reduced the rates of unpunished responding. One dose of buspirone (1 mg/kg) significantly increased punished responding and reduced unpunished responding. Lower doses were ineffective. Administered s.c. 40 minutes before testing, WAY-100635 had no effect on any parameter but completely antagonized the effects of alnespirone (1 mg/kg) and buspirone (1 mg/kg) on punished responding. The ability of buspirone to reduce unpunished responding was not antagonized by WAY-100635, probably reflecting a sedative effect of buspirone due to dopamine D2 receptor blockade. The results suggest that alnespirone and buspirone have anxiolytic-like activity in a conflict procedure by stimulating 5-HT(1A) receptors, presumably at a presynaptic level. Like buspirone, alnespirone may have useful effects in the treatment of anxiety disorders. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • 5-HT(1A) receptors
  • Alnespirone
  • Anxiolytic activity
  • Buspirone
  • Conflict
  • Rat
  • WAY-100635

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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