Early-life blockade of the 5-HT transporter alters emotional behavior in adult mice.

Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 10/2004; 306(5697):879-81. DOI: 10.1126/science.1101678
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reduced serotonin transporter (5-HTT) expression is associated with abnormal affective and anxiety-like symptoms in humans and rodents, but the mechanism of this effect is unknown. Transient inhibition of 5-HTT during early development with fluoxetine, a commonly used serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor, produced abnormal emotional behaviors in adult mice. This effect mimicked the behavioral phenotype of mice genetically deficient in 5-HTT expression. These findings indicate a critical role of serotonin in the maturation of brain systems that modulate emotional function in the adult and suggest a developmental mechanism to explain how low-expressing 5-HTT promoter alleles increase vulnerability to psychiatric disorders.

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    ABSTRACT: Impulsive and aggressive behaviors are both modulated by serotonergic signaling, specifically through the serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR). 5-HT1BR knockout mice show increased aggression and impulsivity, and 5-HT1BR polymorphisms are associated with aggression and drug addiction in humans. To dissect the mechanisms by which the 5-HT1BR affects these phenotypes, we developed a mouse model to spatially and temporally regulate 5-HT1BR expression. Our results demonstrate that forebrain 5-HT1B heteroreceptors expressed during an early postnatal period contribute to the development of the neural systems underlying adult aggression. However, distinct heteroreceptors acting during adulthood are involved in mediating impulsivity. Correlating with the impulsivity, dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is elevated in the absence of 5-HT1BRs and normalized following adult rescue of the receptor. Overall, these data show that while adolescent expression of 5-HT1BRs influences aggressive behavior, a distinct set of 5-HT1B receptors modulates impulsive behavior during adulthood. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Neuron 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.041 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Desensitization and blockade of 5-HT2C receptors (5-HT2CR) have long been thought to be central in the therapeutic action of antidepressant drugs. However, besides behavioral pharmacology studies, there is little in vivo data documenting antidepressant-induced 5-HT2CR desensitization in specific brain areas. Mice lacking the 5-HT reuptake carrier (5-HTT(-/-)) were used to model the consequences of chronic 5-HT reuptake inhibition with antidepressant drugs. The effect of this mutation on 5-HT2CR was evaluated at the behavioral (social interaction, novelty-suppressed feeding and 5-HT2CR-induced hypolocomotion tests), the neurochemical and the cellular (RT-qPCR, mRNA editing and c-fos-induced expression) levels. Although 5-HTT(-/-) mice had an anxiogenic profile in the novelty-suppressed feeding test, they displayed less 5-HT2CR-mediated anxiety in response to the agonist m-chlorophenylpiperazine in the social interaction test. In addition, 5-HT2CR-mediated inhibition of stress-induced increase in 5-HT turnover, measured in various brain areas, was markedly reduced in 5-HTT(-/-) mutants. These indices of tolerance to 5-HT2CR stimulation were associated neither with altered levels of 5-HT2CR protein and mRNA nor with changes in pre-mRNA editing in the frontal cortex. However, basal c-fos mRNA production in cells expressing 5-HT2CR was higher in 5-HTT(-/-) mutants, suggesting an altered basal activity of these cells following sustained 5-HT reuptake carrier inactivation. Furthermore, the increased c-fos mRNA expression in 5-HT2CR-like immune-positive cortical cells observed in wild-type mice treated acutely with the 5-HT2CR agonist RO-60,0175, was absent in 5-HTT(-/-) mutants. Such blunted responsiveness of the 5-HT2CR system, observed at the cell signaling level, probably contributes to moderate the anxiety phenotype of 5-HTT(-/-) mice. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.