Pharmacological studies on the serotoninergic and nonserotonin-mediated stimulation of prolactin and corticosterone secretion by fenfluramine: Effects of pretreatment with fluoxetine, indalpine, PCPA, and L-tryptophan

Louis D.Van De Kar, Janice H. Urban, Kathy D. Richardson, Cynthia L. Bethea

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    77 Scopus citations


    Administration of the serotonin-releasing drug fenfluramine to male rats caused a dose-dependent increase in both plasma prolactin and corticosterone levels. The effect of fenfluramine on prolactin was maximal at 30 min after injection, whereas the effect on plasma corticosterone levels reached a maximum 2 h after injection. In order to determine if the effect of fenfluramine on both hormones was mediated via serotonin release, rats were pretreated with the serotonin uptake inhibitors fluoxetine (10 mg/kg i.p.) or indalpine (10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min prior to administration of fenfluramine (5 mg/kg i.p.). Both fluoxetine and indalpine inhibited the effect of fenfluramine on plasma prolactin levels, but did not modify the effect of fenfluramine on plasma corticosterone levels. Pretreatment of rats with the serotonin precursor L-tryptophan (100 mg/kg i.p.) potentiated the effect of a submaximal dose of fenfluramine (2 mg/kg i.p.) on plasma prolactin levels, but did not affect the corticosterone response. Depletion of serotonin stores by pretreatment with the serotonin inhibitor p-chlorophenylalanine (300 mg/kg i.p.; 72 h) did not significantly prevent the effect of fenfluramine on either hormone. There was a 34% inhibition of the effect of fenfluramine on plasma prolactin levels, but this effect was not statistically significant. The results of the experiments suggest that the effect of fenfluramine on prolactin secretion is mediated, at least in part, by a serotoninergic mechanism, but the effect on corticosterone secretion is not mediated via serotonin release.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)283-288
    Number of pages6
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1985



    • Corticosterone
    • Fenfluramine
    • L-tryptophan
    • PCPA
    • Prolactin
    • Serotonin
    • Uptake blockers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Endocrinology
    • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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