5-HT1A receptor blockade increases penile erections induced by indirect serotonin agonists

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Indirect serotonergic agenists, whether promoters of 5-HT release such as fenfluramine (5 mg kg−1) or inhibitors of 5-HT uptake such as fluoxetine (10 mg kg−1), elicited in rats penile erections at a modest but significant level. Their effects were markedly potentiated by the beta-blocker tertatolol, (0.6–5 mg kg−1) which displays 5-HT1A receptor blocking activity, but not by the beta-blocker labetalol (6.25 and 25 mg kg−1), which lacks such activity. In addition, tertatolol, but not labetalol, potentiated penile erections induced by meta-chloro-phenylpiperazine (1 mg kg−1). Thus, it appears that increasing serotonergic transmission increases only moderately penile erections because of the functional opposition exerted by 5-HT1A(inhibition) and 5-HT1C (activation) serotonin receptors on this response.

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