We used the microdialysis technique to compare basal extracellular serotonin (5-HT) and the response to citalopram in different strains of mice with functionally different allelic forms of tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH-2), the rate-limiting enzyme in brain 5-HT synthesis. DBA/2J, DBA/2N and BALB/c mice carrying the 1473G allele of TPH-2 had less dialysate 5-HT in the medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus (DH) (20-40% reduction) than C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mice carrying the 1473C allele. Extracellular 5-HT estimated by the zero-net flux method confirmed the result of conventional microdialysis. Citalopram, 1.25, 5 and 20 mg/kg, dose-dependently raised extracellular 5-HT in the medial prefrontal cortex of C57BL/6J mice, with maximum effect at 5 mg/kg, but had significantly less effect in DBA/2J and BALB/c mice and in the DH of DBA/2J mice. A tryptophan (TRP) load enhanced basal extracellular 5-HT in the medial prefrontal cortex of DBA/2J mice but did not affect citalopram's ability to raise cortical and hippocampal extracellular 5-HT. The impairment of 5-HT synthesis quite likely accounts for the reduction of basal 5-HT and the citalopram-induced rise in mice carrying the mutated enzyme. These findings might explain why DBA/2 and BALB/c mice do not respond to citalopram in the forced swimming test. Although TRP could be a useful strategy to improve the antidepressant effect of citalopram (Cervo et al. 2005), particularly in subjects with low 5-HT synthesis, the contribution of serotonergic and non-serotonergic mechanisms to TRP's effect remains to be elucidated.
- Antidepressant drugs
- Intracerebral microdialysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience