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Acute 5-HT 2C Receptor Antagonist SB-242084 Treatment Affects EEG Gamma Band Activity Similarly to Chronic Escitalopram

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Papp, Noémi 
Koncz, Szabolcs 
Kostyalik, Diána 
Kitka, Tamás 
Petschner, Péter 


Serotonin 2C receptors (5-HT2CRs) are implicated in the pathomechanism and treatment of anxiety and depression. Recently, as a new biomarker of depression, alterations in the gamma power of the electroencephalogram (EEG) have been suggested. Chronic treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant escitalopram has been shown to cause sleep-wake stage-dependent alterations in gamma power. However, despite the antidepressant potency of 5-HT2CR-antagonists, there is no data available regarding the effects of selective 5-HT2CR-antagonists on gamma activity. Therefore, we investigate the acute effect of the 5-HT2CR-antagonist SB-242084 on gamma power in different vigilance stages when given in monotherapy, or in combination with chronic escitalopram treatment. We administered SB-242084 (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or vehicle to EEG-equipped rats after a 21-day-long pretreatment with escitalopram (10 mg/kg/day, via osmotic minipumps) or vehicle. Frontoparietal EEG, electromyogram, and motor activity were recorded during the first 3 h of passive phase, after the administration of SB-242084. Quantitative EEG analysis revealed that acute SB-242084 increased gamma power (30–60 Hz) in light and deep slow-wave sleep, and passive wakefulness. However, in active wakefulness, rapid eye movement sleep, and intermediate stage, no change was observed in gamma power. The profile of the effect of SB-242084 on gamma power was similar to that produced by chronic escitalopram. Moreover, SB-242084 did not alter chronic escitalopram-induced effects on gamma. In conclusion, the similarity in the effect of the 5-HT2CR-antagonist and chronic SSRI on gamma power provides further evidence for the therapeutic potential of 5-HT2CR-antagonists in the treatment of depression and/or anxiety.



Pharmacology, serotonin, 5-HT2C receptor, SSRI antidepressant, gamma rhythm, electroencephalography, sleep-wake cycle, anxiety, depression

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