European journal of pharmacology

Effects on serotonin in rat hypothalamus of D-fenfluramine, aminorex, phentermine and fluoxetine.

PMID 12065196


Hypothalamic 5-HT (serotonin) regulates food intake, energy expenditure and bodyweight. Using in vivo microdialysis, we determined the effects of various anorectic drugs on hypothalamic extracellular 5-HT levels during the dark phase when rats predominantly feed. Phentermine and aminorex, which were originally considered to be catecholaminergic drugs, markedly increased 5-HT efflux in rat hypothalamus. Their actions were less profound than D-fenfluramine, but considerably greater than that of the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. This suggests that enhanced hypothalamic 5-HT function could be involved in their anorectic actions. Pharmacological characterization revealed that D-fenfluramine, aminorex and probably also phentermine potentiate synaptic 5-HT function predominantly by release, whereas fluoxetine acts exclusively by reuptake inhibition. The results also revealed that the combined actions of phentermine and D-fenfluramine on hypothalamic extracellular 5-HT levels were additive, but not synergistic. In contrast, there was a significant negative cooperative effect on extraneuronal 5-HT of combining phentermine with fluoxetine.