Brain Serotonin, Psychoactive Drugs, and Effects on Reproduction
Maria Elena Ayala.
Serotonin, a biogenic amine, is present in significant amounts in many structures of the CNS. It is involved in regulation of a wide variety of physiological functions, such as sensory and motor functions, memory, mood, and secretion of hormones including reproductive hormones. It has also been implicated in the etiology of a range of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, along with other conditions such as obesity and migraine. While some drugs that affect serotonin, such as fenfluramine and fluoxetine, have been successfully used in treatment of a range of psychiatric diseases, others, such as the amphetamine analogues MDMA and METH, are potent psychostimulant drugs of abuse. Alterations in serotonergic neurons caused by many of these drugs are well characterized; however, little is known about the reproductive consequences of such alterations. This review evaluates the effects of drugs such as MDMA, pCA, fenfluramine, and fluoxetine on serotonergic transmission in the brain, examines the relationships of these drug effects with the neuroendocrine mechanisms modulating reproductive events such as gonadotropin secretion, ovulation, spermatogenesis, and sexual behavior in animal models, and discusses possible reproductive implications of these drugs in humans.
Keywords: Serotonin, psychoactive drugs, p-chloroamphetamine, fenfluramine, fluoxetine, hypothalamus, reproduction, ovary, testis, sexual behavior
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