Effects of amitryptyline (AMI) and nortriptyline (NOR) were studied on the [5-3H] hydroxytryptamine ([5-3H]HT) and D-[3H]lysergic acid diethylamide-(D-[3H] LSD) binding in cerebral cortex of rats and on behaviours depedent upon 5-hydroxtrryptamine (5-HT) receptor activity. AMI and NOR were found to have affinity for some of the D-LSD binding sites in the cerebral cortex but no or very weak affinity for the 5-HT binding site. AMI and NOR blocked the 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and D-LSD induced head twitches in mice and the D-LSD induced extensor reflex activity. This 5-HT receptor blocking activity of AMI and NOR may in part mediate their antidepressant actions.
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