outflow of [(3)H]5-hydroxytryptamine ([(3)H]5-HT) from electrically stimulated rat cortical slices was measured to ascertain the modulatory role of endogenous cholecystokinin (CCK) on the amine outflow and to test the hypothesis that different anxiolytic compounds inhibit 5-HT secretion. The [(3)H]5-HT outflow evoked at 10 Hz was increased up to +30% by CCK(4) 300-1000 nM, the effect being prevented by the CCK(B) receptor antagonist GV 150013, 3 nM. The limited sensitivity to CCK(4) seemed to depend on 5-HT auto-receptor feedback because pre-treatment with 100 nM methiothepin enhanced the [(3)H]5-HT outflow and lowered the CCK(4) threshold concentration from 300 to 30 nM. In addition, pre-treatment with 1 microM bacitracin to inhibit CCK metabolism increased [(3)H]5-HT efflux. This effect was concentration-dependently counteracted by GV150013 suggesting the presence of an endogenous CCK positive modulation. GV150013 30 nM, the 5-HT(1A) partial agonist buspirone 300 nM and the GABA(A) receptor modulator diazepam 10 nM, known to have anxiolytic properties, all significantly reduced the [(3)H] amine outflow from cortical slices by about 20%. This inhibition depended on their interaction with their respective receptors, which seemed to restrain the activity of functionally interconnected glutamatergic interneurones. In fact, APV (50 microM) and NBQX (10 microM) prevented the effect of the anxiolytic compounds. Thus, anxiolytic drugs with different receptor targets can reduce 5-HT outflow by dampening the glutamatergic signal, and in turn, the secretory process of the serotonergic nerve ending.
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