Enhancement of stress-induced pituitary hormone release and cardiovascular activation by antidepressant treatment in healthy men
Jezova D, Duncko R.
Laboratory of Pharmacological Neuroendocrinology,
Institute of Experimental Endocrinology,
Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava.
[email protected]
J Psychopharmacol. 2002 Sep;16(3):235-40.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed to verify the suggestion that (i) in accordance with the results of animal studies, treatment with antidepressants inhibits hormone release in response to stressful stimulation in humans and (ii) drugs with opposing effects on brain serotonine (citalopram and tianeptine) exert similar modulatory effects on neuroendocrine activation during stress. Healthy male volunteers were treated with citalopram (20 mg), tianeptine (37.5 mg) or placebo for 7 days. As a stress stimulus, insulin-induced hypoglycaemia was used. Measurement of hormone concentrations revealed an enhanced release of adrenocorticotropic hormone and growth hormone in response to stress of hypoglycaemia in subjects treated with both antidepressants used. A similar augmentation was observed in systolic blood pressure. Stress-induced prolactin release was potenciated by citalopram only. Plasma renin activity, epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol levels failed to be modified by antidepressants. The present study demonstrates that (i) repeated antidepressant treatment in healthy men does not inhibit, but enhances, neuroendocrine activation during stress and (ii) such effects were observed after treatment with antidepressants having opposing actions on brain serotonin, indicating involvement of nonserotoninergic mechanisms.

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