It has been hypothesized that treatments which increase locus coeruleus (LC) noradrenergic neuronal activity produce anxiety, whereas treatments which decrease LC neuronal activity are anxiety-reducing. Although the benzodiazepine anxiolytic diazepam decreases LC neuronal impulse flow and norepinephrine metabolism, the non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic buspirone does the opposite. These data suggest that a reduction in LC output is not a necessary prerequisite for anxiolytic activity.
- Locus coeruleus
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