Investigation of the role of 5-HT3 receptors in the secretion of prolactin, ACTH and renin

A. D. Levy, Q. Li, P. A. Rittenhouse, L. D. Van de Kar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The potential roles of central and peripheral 5-HT3 receptors in the secretion of prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone and renin was investigated. Male rats received the 5-HT3 antagonist ondansetron (0, 0.1 or 1 mg/kg i.p.), 30 min prior to injections of the serotonin (5-HT) releaser, p-chloroamphetamine (PCA; 0, 3 or 8 mg/kg i.p.). Blood samples were collected 60 min after PCA for radioimmunoassays of plasma prolactin, ACTH, corticosterone and renin concentrations. PCA significantly elevated secretion of each of these hormones. Pretreatment with the 5-HT3 antagonist, ondansetron, significantly attenuated the PCA-induced elevation of prolactin secretion, suggesting that 5-HT3 receptors contribute to the serotonergic stimulation of prolactin secretion. Ondansetron did not modify effects of PCA on ACTH, corticosterone or renin secretion. To determine whether the 5-HT3 receptor role in prolactin secretion is mediated in the brain, the endocrine effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of 5-HT (30 μg/kg) or the 5-HT3 agonist, 2-methylserotonin (1, 20 or 200 μg/kg) were evaluated. Both 5-HT and 2-methylserotonin significantly elevated plasma prolactin levels 15 min postinjection. However, ondansetron (1 mg/kg i.p.) did not antagonize these actions. Both 5-HT and 2-methylserotonin also increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations. Finally, 5-HT suppressed, while 2-methylserotonin stimulated renin secretion. None of the hormonal effects of i.c.v. injected 5-HT or 2-methylserotonin were altered by ondansetron. Thus, the results suggest that peripheral, but not central 5-HT3 receptors are involved in the stimulation of prolactin secretion. Furthermore, 5-HT3 receptors do not mediate the serotonergic stimulation of ACTH, corticosterone, or renin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-Methylserotonin
  • ACTH
  • Corticosterone
  • Ondansetron
  • Prolactin
  • Renin
  • Serotonin (5-HT)
  • p-Chloroamphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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