Acute administration of buspirone increases the escape of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis hormones from suppression by dexamethasone in depression

Michael Maes*, Ann Van Gastel, Herbert Y. Meltzer, Paul Cosyns, Pierre Blockx, Roger Desnyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently, our laboratory found a significant enhancing of L-5-hydroxy-tryptophan (L-5-HTP) on post-dexamethasone (DST) plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol levels in major - but not in minor - depression. To further elucidate the effects of central serotonin (5-HT) activity on the negative feedback of glucocorticoids on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis function in depression, this study investigates the effects of buspirone, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, on post-DST ACTH and cortisol levels in 75 depressed subjects. Plasma post-DST ACTH and cortisol concentrations were significantly increased by the acute administration of buspirone (30 mg PO) compared to placebo. There were no differences in buspirone-induced post-DST ACTH or cortisol responses between minor and major depression. There were significant correlations between post-DST ACTH and cortisol, and between post-DST-buspirone ACTH and cortisol. The buspirone-induced post-DST cortisol responses were significantly higher in depressed women than men. It is concluded that bispirone may augment ACTH and, consequently, cortisol escape from suppression by dexamethasone in major as well as minor depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-81
Number of pages15
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996

Keywords

  • 5-HT1A
  • 5-HT2 receptors
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Cortisol
  • Depression
  • Serotonin
  • buspirone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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