The serotonin transporter plays an important role in male sexual behavior: a study in serotonin transporter knockout rats

J.Y. Chan, E. Snoeren, E. Cuppen, M. Waldinger, B. Olivier, R. Oosting

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

58 Citaten (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Serotonin (5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter for sexual behaviors. Heterozygous (+/-) serotonin transporter (SERT) rats and SERT knockout rats (-/-) have serotonergic disturbances with significant elevations of basal extracellular 5-HT levels. AIM: To investigate the putative role of the SERT in male sexual behavior. METHODS: After extensive sexual training, the effects of the 5-HT(1A/7) receptor agonist +/- 8-OH-DPAT, the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist WAY100 635 and a combination of both on sexual behaviors of SERT(-/-) and SERT(+/-) knockout and wildtype (SERT(+/+) ) male Wistar rats were examined. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Male rat sexual behaviors of mounts, intromissions, and ejaculations. RESULTS: SERT(-/-) had lower basal ejaculation frequencies than SERT(+/-) and SERT(+/+) animals. +/- 8-OH-DPAT enhanced sexual performance in all three genotypes to the same extent. WAY100635 dose-dependently inhibited sexual behavior in all three genotypes with significant dose to genotype interactions. WAY100635 exerted the strongest effects in SERT(-/-) animals. The combination of a dose range of +/- 8-OH-DPAT and a selected dose of WAY100635 revealed only partial antagonism by +/- 8-OH-DPAT of the sexual inhibitory effects of WAY100635. CONCLUSIONS: Absence of the serotonin transporter reduces basal ejaculatory performance in male rats. Pharmacological experiments suggest that separate pools of 5-HT(1A) receptors regulate different aspects of sexual performance in male rats. 5-HT(7) receptors may play a minor role in the partial recovery of sexual behavior after combination of +/- 8-OH-DPAT and WAY100635. The SERT(-/-) rat may be a model for chronic SSRI treatment, delayed ejaculation, anorgasmia, and/or low libido.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)97-108
TijdschriftJournal of Sexual Medicine
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 2011


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