The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram induces the storage of serotonin in catecholaminergic terminals.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We investigated whether selective inhibition of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) transporter with citalopram leads to accumulation of 5-HT in catecholaminergic neurons. In the rabbit olfactory tubercle, citalopram (1-10 microM) inhibited [(3)H]5-HT uptake; however, the maximal degree of inhibition achieved was 70%. Addition of nomifensine (1-10 microM) was required for complete inhibition of [(3)H]5-HT uptake. In slices labeled with 0.1 microM [(3)H]5-HT, cold 5-HT (0.03-1 microM) induced a large increase in the efflux (release) of stored [(3)H]5-HT, an effect blocked by coperfusion with 1 microM citalopram. Similar concentrations (0.03-1 microM) of norepinephrine (NE) or dopamine (DA) failed to release [(3)H]5-HT. When labeling with 0.1 microM [(3)H]5-HT was carried out in the presence of citalopram, 1) low concentrations of 5-HT failed to release [(3)H]5-HT; 2) DA and NE were more potent and effective in releasing [(3)H]5-HT than in control slices; 3) coperfusion of NE, DA, or 5-HT with citalopram enhanced the release of [(3)H]5-HT induced by the catecholamines but not by 5-HT; and 4) coperfusion of NE or DA with nomifensine antagonized NE- and DA-evoked [(3)H]5-HT release, with a greater effect on NE than on DA. These results suggest that in the rabbit olfactory tubercle, where there is coexistence of 5-HT, NE, and DA neurons, inhibition of the 5-HT transporter led to accumulation of 5-HT in catecholaminergic terminals. Thus, during treatment with selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), 5-HT may be stored in catecholaminergic neurons acting as a false neurotransmitter and/or affecting the disposition of DA and/or NE. Transmitter relocation may be involved in the antidepressant action of SSRIs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Suarez-Roca, H; Cubeddu, LX

Published Date

  • July 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 302 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 174 - 179

PubMed ID

  • 12065714

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1521-0103

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3565

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1124/jpet.302.1.174


  • eng