It has been demonstrated convincingly that ACTH and prolactin release are under the stimulatory control of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5HT). Recent animal studies suggest that stimulation of 5HT activity also induces the release of arginine-vasopressin (AVP). More specifically, m-chlorophenylpiperazine (MCPP), a 5HT agonist widely used to examine 5HT receptor responsivity in human subjects, has been found to induce AVP release in rodents. This study examined whether MCPP increased plasma AVP levels in healthy human subjects. MCPP was administered orally to 17 healthy subjects in a placebo-controlled design in doses of 0.25 and 0.5 mg/kg. AVP was measured twice hourly over a 210 min period after administration of capsules. MCPP did not significantly alter AVP levels as compared to placebo. However, female subjects had significantly lower plasma AVP levels than males. Since it has been suggested that MCPP-induced AVP release in animals is due to stimulation of 5HT1c receptors, the fact that MCPP did not induce the release of AVP in humans suggests that either MCPP is not a potent 5HT1c agonist or that AVP is not released by stimulation of 5HT(1c) receptors in human subjects. The observation of gender differences in plasma AVP levels suggests that this factor should be taken into account in future studies of AVP secretion in plasma.
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