Subchronic administration of fluoxetine impairs estrous behavior in intact female rats

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Treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) has been shown to cause reduced libido and anorgasmia in women. A large body of evidence suggests that serotonin may influence sexual behavior in estradiol + progesterone primed, gonadectomized female rats; however, the influence of selective SRIs on the estrous behavior of intact female rats has not been described previously. In the present study, the effect of 1 to 3 weeks of fluoxetine administration (10 mg/kg daily) on vaginal and behavioral estrus in intact female rats was studied; in addition, the effect of fluoxetine (same dose, 1-8 weeks) on copulatory behavior and on sexual motivation in hormone-primed gonadectomized rats was investigated. Subchronic administration of fluoxetine did not influence cyclicity as judged by the examination of vaginal smears but significantly reduced the percentage of rats displaying receptive behavior in the estrous phase. In addition, fluoxetine significantly reduced receptive behavior, including lordosis, in ovariectomized female rats primed with estradiol (6.25 μg/rat; -48 hr) plus progesterone (1.0 mg/rat, -4 hr); in contrast, sexual motivation-as reflected by the amount of time these rats elected to spend in the vicinity of a male rather than in the vicinity of a female or elsewhere-was little affected by the treatment. Copyright (C) 1998 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.




Matuszczyk, J. V., Larsson, K., & Eriksson, E. (1998). Subchronic administration of fluoxetine impairs estrous behavior in intact female rats. Neuropsychopharmacology, 19(6), 492–498.

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