Prior Activation of 5-HT7 Receptors Modulates the Conditioned Place Preference With Methylphenidate

Cristiana Carbone, Sara Lucia Maria Lo Russo, Enza Lacivita, Annika Frank, Enrico Alleva, Holger Stark, Luciano Saso, Marcello Leopoldo, Walter Adriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The serotonin receptor subtype 7 (5-HT7R) is clearly involved in behavioral functions such as learning/memory, mood regulation and circadian rhythm. Recent discoveries proposed modulatory physiological roles for serotonergic systems in reward-guided behavior. However, the interplay between serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) in reward-related behavioral adaptations needs to be further assessed. TP-22 is a recently developed arylpiperazine-based 5-HT7R agonist, which is also showing high affinity and selectivity towards D1 receptors. Here, we report that TP-22 displays D1 receptor antagonist activity. Moreover, we describe the first in vivo tests with TP-22: first, a pilot experiment (assessing dosage and timing of action) identified the 0.25 mg/kg i.v. dosage for locomotor stimulation of rats. Then, a conditioned place preference (CPP) test with the DA-releasing psychostimulant drug, methylphenidate (MPH), involved three rat groups: prior i.v. administration of TP-22 (0.25 mg/kg), or vehicle (VEH), 90 min before MPH (5 mg/kg), was intended for modulation of conditioning to the white chamber (saline associated to the black chamber); control group (SAL) was conditioned with saline in both chambers. Prior TP-22 further increased the stimulant effect of MPH on locomotor activity. During the place-conditioning test, drug-free activity of TP-22+MPH subjects remained steadily elevated, while VEH+MPH subjects showed a decline. Finally, after a priming injection of TP-22 in MPH-free conditions, rats showed a high preference for the MPH-associated white chamber, which conversely had vanished in VEH-primed MPH-conditioned subjects. Overall, the interaction between MPH and pre-treatment with TP-22 seems to improve both locomotor stimulation and the conditioning of motivational drives to environmental cues. Together with recent studies, a main modulatory role of 5-HT7R for the processing of rewards can be suggested. In the present study, TP-22 proved to be a useful psychoactive tool to better elucidate the role of 5-HT7R and its interplay with DA in reward-related behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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