Effects of chronic paroxetine pretreatment on (±)-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n- propyl-amino)tetralin induced c-fos expression following sexual behavior

T. R. De Jong, T. Pattij, J. G. Veening, P. J.W.C. Dederen, M. D. Waldinger, A. R. Cools, B. Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine impairs the functioning of 5-HT1A receptors involved in ejaculation. This could underlie the development of delayed ejaculation often reported by men treated with paroxetine. The neurobiological substrate linking the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-treatment and 5-HT 1A receptor activation with ejaculation was investigated. Male Wistar rats that were pretreated with paroxetine (20mg/kg/day p.o.) or vehicle for 22 days and had received an additional injection with the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT ((±)-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propyl-amino)tetralin; 0.4mg/kg s.c.) or saline on day 22, 30 min prior to a sexual behavior test, were perfused 1 h after the sexual behavior test. Brains were processed for Fos-, and oxytocin immunohistochemistry. The drug treatments markedly changed both sexual behavior and the pattern and number of Fos-immunoreactive cells in the brain. Chronic pretreatment with paroxetine caused delayed ejaculation. Acute injection with 8-OH-DPAT facilitated ejaculation in vehicle-pretreated rats, notably evident in a strongly reduced intromission frequency, whereas 8-OH-DPAT had no effects in paroxetine-pretreated rats. Chronic treatment with paroxetine reduced Fos-immunoreactivity in the locus coeruleus, and prevented the increase in Fos-immunoreactive neurons induced by 8-OH-DPAT in the oxytocinergic magnocellular part of the paraventricular nucleus as well as in the locus coeruleus. Since oxytocin and noradrenalin facilitate ejaculation, the alterations in Fos-IR in these areas could connect selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment and 5-HT1A receptor activation to ejaculation. Chronic paroxetine treatment and 8-OH-DPAT changed c-fos expression in a number of other brain areas, indicating that Fos-immunohistochemistry is a useful tool to find locations where selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and 8-OH-DPAT exert their effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1361
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • 5-HT receptor
  • Desensitization
  • Ejaculation
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Oxytocin
  • SSRI

Cite this