The effects of congenital brain serotonin deficiency on responses to chronic fluoxetine.

Department of Cell Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
Translational psychiatry 08/2013; 3(8):e291. DOI: 10.1038/tp.2013.65
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The importance of reversing brain serotonin (5-HT) deficiency and promoting hippocampal neurogenesis in the mechanisms of action for antidepressants remain highly controversial. Here we examined the behavioral, neurochemical and neurogenic effects of chronic fluoxetine (FLX) in a mouse model of congenital 5-HT deficiency, the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (R439H) knock-in (Tph2KI) mouse. Our results demonstrate that congenital 5-HT deficiency prevents a subset of the signature molecular, cellular and behavioral effects of FLX, despite the fact that FLX restores the 5-HT levels of Tph2KI mice to essentially the levels observed in wild-type mice at baseline. These results suggest that inducing supra-physiological levels of 5-HT, not merely reversing 5-HT deficiency, is required for many of the antidepressant-like effects of FLX. We also demonstrate that co-administration of the 5-HT precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), along with FLX rescues the novelty suppressed feeding (NSF) anxiolytic-like effect of FLX in Tph2KI mice, despite still failing to induce neurogenesis. Thus, our results indicate that brain 5-HT deficiency reduces the efficacy of FLX and that supplementation with 5-HTP can restore some antidepressant-like responses in the context of 5-HT deficiency. Our findings also suggest that feeding latency reductions in the NSF induced by chronic 5-HT elevation are not mediated by drug-induced increments in neurogenesis in 5-HT-deficient animals. Overall, these findings shed new light on the impact of 5-HT deficiency on responses to FLX and may have important implications for treatment selection in depression and anxiety disorders.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Decreased serotonergic activity has been implicated in anxiety and major depression, and antidepressants directly or indirectly increase the long-term activity of the serotonin system. A key component of serotonin circuitry is the 5-HT1A autoreceptor, which functions as the major somatodendritic autoreceptor to negatively regulate the "gain" of the serotonin system. In addition, 5-HT1A heteroreceptors are abundantly expressed post-synaptically in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala, and hippocampus to mediate serotonin actions on fear, anxiety, stress, and cognition. Importantly, in the PFC 5-HT1A heteroreceptors are expressed on at least two antagonist neuronal populations: excitatory pyramidal neurons and inhibitory interneurons. Rodent models implicate the 5-HT1A receptor in anxiety- and depression-like phenotypes with distinct roles for pre- and post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptors. In this review, we present a model of serotonin-PFC circuitry that integrates evidence from mouse genetic models of anxiety and depression involving knockout, suppression, over-expression, or mutation of genes of the serotonin system including 5-HT1A receptors. The model postulates that behavioral phenotype shifts as serotonin activity increases from none (depressed/aggressive not anxious) to low (anxious/depressed) to high (anxious, not depressed). We identify a set of conserved transcription factors including Deaf1, Freud-1/CC2D1A, Freud-2/CC2D1B and glucocorticoid receptors that may confer deleterious regional changes in 5-HT1A receptors in depression, and how future treatments could target these mechanisms. Further studies to specifically test the roles and regulation of pyramidal vs. interneuronal populations of 5-HT receptors are needed better understand the role of serotonin in anxiety and depression and to devise more effective targeted therapeutic approaches.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 06/2014; 8:199. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reductions in function within the serotonin (5HT) neuronal system have long been proposed as etiological factors in depression. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most common treatment for depression and their therapeutic effect is generally attributed to their ability to increase the synaptic levels of 5HT. Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) is the initial and rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of 5HT in the CNS and losses in its catalytic activity lead to reductions in 5HT production and release. The time differential between the onset of 5HT reuptake inhibition by SSRIs (minutes) and onset of their anti-depressant efficacy (weeks to months), when considered with their overall poor therapeutic effectiveness, has cast some doubt on the role of 5HT in depression. Mice lacking the gene for TPH2 are genetically depleted of brain 5HT and were tested for a depression-like behavioral phenotype using a battery of valid tests for affective-like disorders in animals. The behavior of TPH2-/- mice on the sucrose preference test, tail suspension test and forced swim test and their responses in the unpredictable chronic mild stress and learned helplessness paradigms was the same as wild-type controls. While TPH2-/- mice as a group were not responsive to SSRIs, a subset responded to treatment with SSRIs in the same manner as wild-type controls with significant reductions in immobility time on the tail suspension test, indicative of antidepressant drug effects. The behavioral phenotype of the TPH2-/- mouse questions the role of 5HT in depression. Furthermore, the TPH2-/- mouse may serve as a useful model in the search for new medications that have therapeutic targets for depression that are outside of the 5HT neuronal system.
    ACS Chemical Neuroscience 08/2014; · 4.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Serotonin is probably best known for its role in conveying a sense of contentedness and happiness. It is one of the most unique and pharmacologically complex monoamines in both the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS). Serotonin has become in focus of interest for the treatment of depression with multiple serotonin-mimetic and modulators of adult neurogenesis used clinically. Here we will take a broad view of serotonin from development to its physiological role as a neurotransmitter and its contribution to homeostasis of the adult rodent hippocampus. This chapter reflects the most significant findings on cellular and molecular mechanisms from neuroscientists in the field over the last two decades. We illustrate the action of serotonin by highlighting basic receptor targeting studies, and how receptors impact brain function. We give an overview of recent genetically modified mouse models that differ in serotonin availability and focus on the role of the monoamine in antidepressant response. We conclude with a synthesis of the most recent data surrounding the role of serotonin in activity and hippocampal neurogenesis. This synopsis sheds light on the mechanisms and potential therapeutic model by which serotonin plays a critical role in the maintenance of mood.
    Behavioural Brain Research 08/2014; · 3.39 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jul 10, 2014