Effect of the 5-HT1A partial agonist buspirone on regional cerebral blood flow in man.
Grasby PM., Friston KJ., Bench C., Cowen PJ., Frith CD., Liddle PF., Frackowiak RS., Dolan RJ.
Repeated measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were made in normal volunteers before, and after, the administration of the 5-HT1A partial agonist, buspirone, or placebo. The difference in rCBF, before and after drug, (buspirone versus placebo) was used to identify brain areas affected by buspirone. Buspirone-induced changes in rCBF were studied under two behavioural conditions (5 word-list learning and 15 word-list learning). Compared to placebo, buspirone increased blood flow in the cuneus during both behavioural states. However, decreases in blood flow, centred in the left dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, were only observed under one of the two behavioural conditions. It is concluded that buspirone-induced alterations in regional cerebral blood flow are better understood, not in relation to the known distribution of monoamine neurotransmitter systems (particularly ascending 5-HT projections), but rather in relation to putative neuronal circuits possibly many synapses "downstream" of buspirone's pharmacological site of action.