Research Article| Volume 23, ISSUE 8, P818-828, April 15, 1988

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Stimulation of serum cortisol and prolactin secretion in humans by MK-212, a centrally active serotonin agonist

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      The effects of MK-212 ¦6-chloro-2-(1-piperazinyl)-pyrazine¦ (10, 20, and 40 mg. orally). a centrally acting serotonin (5-HT) receptor agonist and placebo, on serum cortisol, prolactin, and growth hormone levels were studied in eight healthy men over 3-hr. MK-212 produced a dose-related increase in serum cortisol levels, with the 20- and 40-mg doses producing significant elevations. Serum prolactin levels were significantly elevated only by the 40-mg dose. Serum GH levels were not significantly modified by any dose of MK-212. The cortisol and prolactin responses to the 40-mg dose of MK-212 were positively correlated (rho = + 0.85, p < 0.02). MK-212 was generally well tolerated by the subjects. Headache and nausea were observed at the higher doses, but did not appear to be related to the increase in serum cortisol and prolactin levels. MK-212 may stimulate the secretion of cortisol and prolactin in humans via a serotonin (5-HT2) receptor mechanism and may be a valuable tool with which to study 5-HT receptor sensitivity in humans.
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