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Newman-Tancredi A, Martel JC, Assié MB, Buritova J, Lauressergues E, Cosi C, Heusler P, BruinsSlot L, Colpaert F, Vacher B, Cussac D.
Br J Pharmacol. 2009 Jan;156(2):338-53. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Activation of post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors may provide enhanced therapy against depression. We describe the signal transduction profile of F15599, a novel 5-HT1A receptor agonist.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: F15599 was compared with a chemical congener, F13714, and with (+)8-OH-DPAT in models of signal transduction in vitro and ex vivo.

KEY RESULTS: F15599 was highly selective for 5-HT1A receptors in binding experiments and in [35S]-GTPgammaS autoradiography of rat brain, where F15599 increased labelling in regions expressing 5-HT1A receptors. In cell lines expressing h5-HT1A receptors, F15599 more potently stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, compared with G-protein activation, internalization of h5-HT1A receptors or inhibition of cAMP accumulation. F13714, (+)8-OH-DPAT and 5-HT displayed a different rank order of potency for these responses. F15599 stimulated [35S]-GTPgammaS binding more potently in frontal cortex than raphe. F15599, unlike 5-HT, more potently and efficaciously stimulated G(alphai) than G(alphao) activation. In rat prefrontal cortex (a region expressing post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors), F15599 potently activated ERK1/2 phosphorylation and strongly induced c-fos mRNA expression. In contrast, in raphe regions (expressing pre-synaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors) F15599 only weakly or did not induce c-fos mRNA expression. Finally, despite its more modest affinity in vitro, F15599 bound to 5-HT1A receptors in vivo almost as potently as F13714.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: F15599 showed a distinctive activation profiles for 5-HT1A receptor-mediated signalling pathways, unlike those of reference agonists and consistent with functional selectivity at 5-HT1A receptors. In rat, F15599 potently activated signalling in prefrontal cortex, a feature likely to underlie its beneficial effects in models of depression and cognition.

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