Evidence that central 5-hydroxytryptaminergic neurones are involved in the anxiolytic activity of buspirone

M. Carli, C. Prontera, R. Samanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. A two-compartment exploratory test was used to assess the role of central 5-hydroxytryptaminergic neurones in the anxiolytic activity of buspirone in rats. 2. Buspirone 0.1 mg kg-1, administered subcutaneously 15 min before testing, significantly increased black-white transitions (BWT) in control rats but had no effect in animals injected intracerebroventricularly one week before with 150 μg 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (in 20 μl). 3. Infusion of buspirone in the median raphe (but not in the dorsal raphe) significantly enhanced BWT, at doses from 1 μg to 10 μg (in 0.5 μl). Buspirone 5 and 10 μg, but not 1 μg, administered in the median raphe, significantly enhanced motor activity of rats during the first 10 min of testing in the activity cages. 4. The effect on BWT of 5 μg buspirone in the median raphe was completely antogonized in animals which had received either 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine intraventricularly, 150 μg (in 20 μl), one week before or an infusion of 0.1 μg (in 0.5 μl) (-)-propranolol in the same area 5 min before. (-)-Propranolol infused in the median raphe did not modify the effect of buspirone on locomotion. 5. Infusion of 5 μg buspirone (in 0.5 μl) in the median raphe significantly enhanced punished responses in a conflict test with no effect on unpunished responding. Buspirone infused in the dorsal raphe had no effect on punished or unpunished responding over a wide dose range. 6. The results indicate that at the relatively low dose used in the present study buspirone produces an anxiolytic effect by acting on central 5-hydroxytryptaminergic neurones. It is likely that activation of 5-hydroxytryptamine(1A)-receptors in the median raphe is involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-836
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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