Pleiotropic behavior of 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists

K. A. Berg, S. Maayani, J. Goldfarb, W. P. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


There is now considerable evidence that a single receptor subtype can couple to multiple effector pathways within a cell. Recently, Kenakin proposed a new concept, termed 'agonist-directed trafficking of receptor stimulus', that suggests that agonists may be able to selectively activate a subset of multiple signaling pathways coupled to a single receptor subtype. 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors couple to phospholipase C-(PLC) mediated inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation and PLA2-mediated arachidonic acid (AA) release. Relative efficacies of agonists (referenced to 5-HT) differed depending upon whether IP accumulation or AA release was measured. For the 5-HT(2C) receptor system, some agonists (e.g. TFMPP) preferentially activated the PLC-IP pathway, whereas others (e.g. LSD) favored PLA2-AA. As expected, EC50's of agonists did not differ between pathways. For the 5-HT(2A) receptor system, all agonists tested had greater relative efficacy for PLA2-AA than for PLC-IP. In contrast, relative efficacies were not different for 5-HT(2A) agonists when sequential effects in a pathway were measured (IP accumulation vs. calcium mobilization). These data strongly support the agonist-directed trafficking hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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