Cellular localization of serotonin(2A) (5HT(2A)) receptors in the rat brain

ArticleinBrain Research Bulletin 51(6):499-505 · May 2000with 17 Reads
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Abstract
The serotonin(2A) (5HT(2A)) receptors have been shown to play an important role in several psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and alcoholism. This immunohistochemical study examined the cellular localization of 5HT(2A) receptors in various rat brain structures (olfactory, striatum, cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala). The colocalization of 5HT(2A) receptors in astrocytes was performed by double-immunofluorescence staining of 5HT(2A) receptors and of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) using confocal laser microscopy. 5HT(2A) receptor immunolabeling was observed in olfactory bulbs, neostriatum, hippocampus, amygdala, and neocortex. Somata and dendrites of pyramidal cells in the frontal cortex (layer V) were densely labeled with 5HT(2A) receptors. In several other brain structures (hippocampus, amygdala, striatum, olfactory structures), 5HT(2A) receptor immunolabeling was found in cell bodies and processes of neurons. 5HT(2A) receptor immunolabeling was also observed in GFAP-positive cells of the various brain structures we investigated (layers I/VI of the neocortex, corpus callosum, hippocampal fissure and hilus, and amygdala). These results indicate that 5HT(2A) receptors are expressed in neurons and astrocytes and suggest the possibility that not only neuronal but also glial 5HT(2A) receptors have functional implications in psychiatric disorders.

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    Extensive research studies showed the existing interaction between different systems of the body that maintain the stability of homeostatic processes and which allow species to adapt to its environment in response to stressors. Adaptive responses to stressors activates adaptive-mechanisms, that result in the synthesis and release of several brain neurotransmitters, peptide hormones, proinflammatory cytokines and adrenal steroids from neural, neuroendocrine and immune cells which prepared the organism to alert its systems to adopt the proper behavioral responses against stressful events. Neurotransmitters, peptide hormones and cytokines act through the HPA axis forming a regulatory loop that maintains homeostasis in response to different stressors. One route to understand the interactions between brain transmitters, neurosecretory peptide-hormones, adrenal steroids and immune-borne cytokines, including neurotrophic factors is when body`s systems and chemical communication between cells appear to be disrupted during stressful events as occurs in mood-related disorders and depression. Thus, this review will described the functional interactions between HPA axis activity and the projecting neural pathways (DRN-5HT neurons; LC-NA neurons) and brain neurotransmitters (NE, 5-HT, DA, GLU) that impinge on forebrain-limbic structures (hypothalamus, hippocampus, mPFCx) that drive the release of the CRH and CRH-dependent secretion of ACTH from anterior hypophysis and cortisol from adrenal glands, under stressful conditions. Moreover, interactions between immune-borne cytokines and HPA axis activity, and glucocorticoid receptors have been shown to be extremely important to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms that operate in mood-related disorders and MDD, including the stress-inducing altered changes in brain morphology, neuronal atrophy and neurogenesis in brain areas involved in learning processing and memory functions.
  • Article
    The selective 5-hydroxytryptamine type 2a receptor (5-HT2AR) radiotracer [(18)F]altanserin is a promising ligand for in vivo brain imaging in rodents. However, [(18)F]altanserin is a substrate of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in rats. Its applicability might therefore be constrained by both a differential expression of P-gp under pathological conditions, e.g. epilepsy, and its relatively low cerebral uptake. The aim of the present study was therefore twofold: (i) to investigate whether inhibition of multidrug transporters (MDT) is suitable to enhance the cerebral uptake of [(18)F]altanserin in vivo and (ii) to test different pharmacokinetic, particularly reference tissue-based models for exact quantification of 5-HT2AR densities in the rat brain. Eighteen Sprague-Dawley rats, either treated with the MDT inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA, 50mg/kg, n=8) or vehicle (n=10) underwent 180-min PET scans with arterial blood sampling. Kinetic analyses of tissue time-activity curves (TACs) were performed to validate invasive and non-invasive pharmacokinetic models. CsA application lead to a two- to threefold increase of [(18)F]altanserin uptake in different brain regions and showed a trend toward higher binding potentials (BPND) of the radioligand. MDT inhibition led to an increased cerebral uptake of [(18)F]altanserin but did not improve the reliability of BPND as a non-invasive estimate of 5-HT2AR. This finding is most probable caused by the heterogeneous distribution of P-gp in the rat brain and its incomplete blockade in the reference region (cerebellum). Differential MDT expressions in experimental animal models or pathological conditions are therefore likely to influence the applicability of imaging protocols and have to be carefully evaluated.
  • Chapter
    Full-text available
    Astrocytes are the most numerous glial cells. They fulfill a wide variety of vital functions, being in essence the wardens and governors of brain homeostasis. Astrocytes are integrated into a syncytium, being thus able to exchange molecules, and produce long-range signaling in a form of propagating Ca2+ waves. Astroglial cells are potentially capable to express virtually all types of neurotransmitter receptors known so far. These receptors can be activated by synaptically released neurotransmitters, by "glio" transmitters or by molecules diffusing in the brain extracellular space (volume transmitters). This chapter provides a concise summary of the properties of the main types of neurotransmitter receptors operative in astroglial cells. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009. All rights reserved.
  • Article
    The brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system is implicated in the neurobiological control of feeding and appears to be dysfunctional in patients suffering from feeding disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and obesity. Thanks to the identification and cloning of 5-HT receptors, the production of agonist and antagonist compounds, and the generation of 5-HT receptor knock-out mice, our knowledge on the implication of different 5-HT receptor subtypes in feeding behavior has greatly increased. A number of studies have demonstrated an involvement of the hypothalamic 5-HT1B and 5-HT2C receptors in food intake and body weight control, but the downstream events induced by such signaling remain to be explored. Moreover, little is known about the influence of 5-HT on the rewarding value of eating. Such value may not necessarily be linked to food consumption, but rather to voluntary reduction of food intake, as recently demonstrated upon activation of the 5-HT4 receptors in the nucleus accumbens. Thus, abnormalities in the reward system in addition to those in the central control of the autonomic nervous system might contribute to the anorexic behavior. Recent studies have also reported an involvement of the 5-HT6 and 5-HT7 receptors in feeding behavior. Potential 5-HT receptor agonists/antagonists could then be developed and used in association with psychological treatment to better cope with the stressors that trigger anorexia and drug dependence. WIREs Membr Transp Signal 2012, 1:715–729. doi: 10.1002/wmts.45 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
  • Article
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    GPCRs such as 5-HT2A and D2 are implicated in the therapeutic and the side effects of antipsychotics. However, the pattern of brain activity that leads to the behavioral effects of antipsychotics is poorly understood. To address this question, we used the transgenic 'FosTRAP' mice (Mus musculus), where a fluorescent reporter marks the cells responsive to the stimulus of interest. Here, the stimulus was an administration of various antipsychotic drugs. In case of typical antipsychotics such as Haloperidol, the c-fos active cells were predominantly found in the striatum, whereas in case of the atypical antipsychotics (Clozapine and Olanzapine), c-fos-induced cells were more numerous in the cortical regions, e.g., orbital cortex, piriform cortex. Curiously, we also observed ependymal cells to be a novel cellular target of atypical antipsychotics. 5-HT2A is considered to be a major target for atypical antipsychotics. Therefore, we bred 'FosTRAP' mice with 5-HT2A knock-out (KO) mice and tested their response to the prototype of atypical antipsychotics, Clozapine. Interestingly, the absence of 5-HT2A did not significantly affect the number of c-fos-induced cells in the cortical regions. However, the ependymal cells showed a dramatically reduced response to Clozapine in the absence of 5-HT2A. In summary, the TRAP system has allowed us to identify various region-specific activity induced by antipsychotics and novel cellular targets of the antipsychotics. These results serve as a "proof of principle" study that can be extended to explore the biochemical and physiological changes brought about by antipsychotics and specifically identify antipsychotic-responsive cells in the live tissue.
  • Article
    Asparagus racemosus Linn. (AR) is used worldwide as a medicinal plant. In the present study, the anxiolytic activity of standardized methanolic extract of root of AR (MAR) was evaluated in open-field test (OFT), hole-board, and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests. Rats received oral pretreatment of MAR in the doses of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg daily for 7 days and then were evaluated for the anxiolytic activity in different animal models. Both MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) and diazepam (1 mg/kg, p.o.) increased the grooming behavior, number of central squares crossed, and time spent in the central area during OFT. Further, MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) increased the head-dip and head-dip/sniffing behavior, and decreased sniffing activity in hole-board test. Furthermore, MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) increased the percentage entries and time spent to open arm in EPM test paradigm. The anxiolytic activity in the experimental models was similar to that of diazepam. MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) enhanced the level of amygdalar serotonin and norepinephrine. It also increased the expression of 5-HT2A receptors in the amygdala. In another set of experiment, flumazenil attenuated the anxiolytic effect of minimum effective dose of MAR (100 mg/kg) in OFT, hole-board, and EPM tests, indicating GABAA-mediated mechanism. Moreover, the anxiolytic dose of MAR did not show sedative-like effect in OFT and EPM tests compared to diazepam (6 mg/kg, p.o.). Thus, the anxiolytic response of MAR may involve GABA and serotonergic mechanisms. These preclinical data show that AR can be a potential agent for treatment of anxiety disorders.
  • Article
    MDMA is a widely abused psychostimulant which causes release of serotonin in various forebrain regions. Recently, we reported that MDMA increases extracellular glutamate concentrations in the dentate gyrus, via activation of 5HT2A receptors. We examined the role of prostaglandin signaling in mediating the effects of 5HT2A receptor activation on the increases in extracellular glutamate and the subsequent long-term loss of parvalbumin interneurons in the dentate gyrus caused by MDMA. Administration of MDMA into the dentate gyrus of rats increased PGE2 concentrations which was prevented by coadministration of MDL100907, a 5HT2A receptor antagonist. MDMA-induced increases in extracellular glutamate were inhibited by local administration of SC-51089, an inhibitor of the EP1 prostaglandin receptor. Systemic administration of SC-51089 during injections of MDMA prevented the decreases in parvalbumin interneurons observed 10 days later. The loss of parvalbumin immunoreactivity after MDMA exposure coincided with a decrease in paired-pulse inhibition and afterdischarge threshold in the dentate gyrus. These changes were prevented by inhibition of EP1 and 5HT2A receptors during MDMA. Additional experiments revealed an increased susceptibility to kainic acid-induced seizures in MDMA treated rats which could be prevented with SC51089 treatments during MDMA exposure. Overall, these findings suggest that 5HT2A receptors mediate MDMA-induced PGE2 signaling and subsequent increases in glutamate. This signaling mediates parvalbumin cell losses as well as physiologic changes in the dentate gyrus, suggesting that the lack of the inhibition provided by these neurons increases the excitability within the dentate gyrus of MDMA treated rats. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Article
    Both serotonin (5HT) and stress exert changes in cortical inhibitory tone to shape activity of cortical networks. As astrocytes are also known to affect inhibition through established purinergic pathways, we assessed the role of GABA and purinergic pathways in rapid corticosterone (CORT) and 5HT effects on cortical inhibition. We used a paired-pulse paradigm (P1 & P2) in acutely isolated mouse brain slices to evaluate changes in cortical evoked inhibition. Normally, 5HT decreases amplitude of the first pulse P1, while increasing the amplitude of P2 (increase frequency transmission). Interestingly, it was observed that CORT application decreased P1 and increased P2 similarly to 5HT application. Given that CORT and 5HT are known to modulate inhibition, we applied the GABAA antagonist bicuculline in the presence of both and found the increase in P2 and the P2/P1 was lost, providing evidence for a common mechanism involving GABAA receptor signaling. Additional occlusion experiments (5HT in presence of CORT, and CORT in presence of 5HT) provide further support for a common mechanism. As both 5HT and CORT blocked the increase in P2 and P2/P1 of the other, we suggest 5HT/CORT already occupy the mechanism in which they share to affect cortical inhibition. Using low concentrations of the GAPDH inhibitor iodoacetate, commonly used to selectively disrupt astrocyte metabolism, we found the increase in P2 and P2/P1 was similarly blocked in response to both CORT and 5HT. As astrocyte signaling depends in large part on purinergic pathways, the purinergic contribution was assessed using Ab129 (P2Y antagonist) and SCH 58261 (A2A antagonist). Once again, P2Y and A2A receptor blockade similarly disrupted 5HT- or CORT-mediated increases in P2 and P2/P1. Together, these results support the common involvement of GABAergic and purinergic pathways in CORT and 5HT effects that may also involve astrocytes.
  • Chapter
    The 5-HT2A receptor type (5-HT2AR) is a G-protein-coupled receptor widely distributed in the central nervous system, indicating its participation in numerous neurological effects serotonin-mediated. The 5-HT2AR has attracted interest as a potential drug target for the treatment of several important neurologic and psychiatric disorders, such as epilepsy and depression. The distribution of the 5-HT2AR has been investigated by immunohistochemical stainings, in situ hybridization experiments, and physiologic/pharmacologic procedures. This review summarizes the cellular localization of the 5-HT2AR in the brains, providing the neuronal pathways modulated by serotonin through this specific receptor type.
  • Article
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    Serotonin (5-HT) selectively excites subpopulations of pyramidal neurons in the neocortex via activation of 5-HT2A (2A) receptors coupled to Gq subtype G-protein alpha subunits. Gq-mediated excitatory responses have been attributed primarily to suppression of potassium conductances, including those mediated by Kv7 potassium channels (i.e., the M-current), or activation of non-specific cation conductances that underlie calcium-dependent afterdepolarizations (ADPs). However, 2A-dependent excitation of cortical neurons has not been extensively studied, and no consensus exists regarding the underlying ionic effector(s) involved. In layer 5 of the mouse medial prefrontal cortex, we tested potential mechanisms of serotonergic excitation in commissural/callosal (COM) projection neurons, a subpopulation of pyramidal neurons that exhibits 2A-dependent excitation in response to 5-HT. In baseline conditions, 5-HT enhanced the rate of action potential generation in COM neurons experiencing suprathreshold somatic current injection. This serotonergic excitation was occluded by activation of muscarinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors, confirming that 5-HT acts via the same Gq-signaling cascades engaged by ACh. Like ACh, 5-HT promoted the generation of calcium-dependent ADPs following spike trains. However, calcium was not necessary for serotonergic excitation, as responses to 5-HT were enhanced (by >100%), rather than reduced, by chelation of intracellular calcium with 10 mM BAPTA. This suggests intracellular calcium negatively regulates additional ionic conductances gated by 2A receptors. Removal of extracellular calcium had no effect when intracellular calcium signaling was intact, but suppressed 5-HT response amplitudes, by about 50%, when BAPTA was included in patch pipettes. This suggests that 2A excitation involves activation of a non-specific cation conductance that is both calcium-sensitive and calcium-permeable. M-current suppression was found to be a third ionic effector, as blockade of Kv7 channels with XE991 (10 µM) reduced serotonergic excitation by ∼50% in control conditions, and by ∼30% with intracellular BAPTA present. Together, these findings demonstrate a role for at least three distinct ionic effectors, including Kv7 channels, a calcium-sensitive and calcium-permeable non-specific cation conductance, and the calcium-dependent ADP conductance, in mediating serotonergic excitation of COM neurons.
  • Chapter
    Hundreds of studies have reported that G protein-coupled receptors self-associate to form dimers or oligomers. Yet, this topic remains controversial. This chapter reviews the current literature related to the structure and function of 5-HT receptor dimers/oligomers in recombinant cells and in native tissues. Studies designed to examine the functional significance of 5-HT receptor dimer/oligomer formation are evaluated and discussed. Emphasis is placed on the methods employed, the dimer interface, oligomer size, mechanism of G protein activation, and analysis of bivalent ligands as potential therapeutics.
  • Article
    Downregulation of the potassium chloride cotransporter type 2 (KCC2) after a spinal cord injury (SCI) disinhibits motoneurons and dorsal horn interneurons causing spasticity and neuropathic pain, respectively. We showed recently (Bos et al., 2013) that specific activation of 5-HT2A receptors by TCB-2 [(4-bromo-3,6-dimethoxybenzocyclobuten-1-yl) methylamine hydrobromide] upregulates KCC2 function, restores motoneuronal inhibition and reduces SCI-induced spasticity. Here, we tested the potential analgesic effect of TCB-2 on central (thoracic hemisection) and peripheral [spared nerve injury (SNI)] neuropathic pain. We found mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia reduced by an acute administration of TCB-2 in rats with SCI. This analgesic effect was associated with an increase in dorsal horn membrane KCC2 expression and was prevented by pharmacological blockade of KCC2 with an intrathecal injection of DIOA [(dihydroindenyl)oxy]alkanoic acid]. In contrast, the SNI-induced neuropathic pain was not attenuated by TCB-2 although there was a slight increase of membrane KCC2 expression in the dorsal horn ipsilateral to the lesion. Up-regulation of KCC2 function by targeting 5-HT2A receptors, therefore, has therapeutic potential in the treatment of neuropathic pain induced by SCI but not by SNI.
  • Article
    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) block the serotonin (5-HT) reuptake transporter (SERT) and increase synaptic 5-HT. 5-HT is also important in brain development; hence when SSRIs are taken during pregnancy there exists the potential for these drugs to affect CNS ontogeny. Prenatal SSRI exposure has been associated with an increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and peripheral 5-HT is elevated in some ASD patients. Perinatal SSRI exposure in rodents has been associated with increased depression and anxiety-like behavior, decreased sociability, and impaired learning in the offspring, behaviors often seen in ASD. The present study investigated whether perinatal exposure to citalopram causes persistent neurobehavioral effects. Gravid Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to two groups and subcutaneously injected twice per day with citalopram (10mg/kg; Cit) or saline (Sal) 6h apart on embryonic day (E)6-21, and then drug was given directly to the pups after delivery from postnatal day (P)1-20. Starting on P60, one male/female from each litter was tested in the Cincinnati water maze (CWM) and open-field before and after MK-801. A second pair from each litter was tested in the Morris water maze (MWM) and open-field before and after (+)-amphetamine. A third pair was tested as follows: elevated zero-maze, open-field, marble burying, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, social preference, and forced swim. Cit exposed rats were impaired in the MWM during acquisition and probe, but not during reversal, shift or cued trials. Cit exposed rats also showed increased marble burying, decreased time in the center of the open-field, decreased latency to immobility in forced swim, and increased acoustic startle across prepulse intensities with no effects on CWM. The results are consistent with citalopram inducing several ASD-like effects. The findings add to concerns about use of SSRIs during pregnancy. Further research on different classes of antidepressants, dose-effect relationships, timing of exposure periods, and mechanisms for these effects are needed. It is also important to balance the effects described here against the effects of the disorders for which the drugs are given.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been a mainstay pharmacological treatment for women experiencing depression during pregnancy and postpartum for the past 25 years. SSRIs act via blockade of the presynaptic serotonin transporter and result in a transient increase in synaptic serotonin. Long-lasting changes in cellular function such as serotonergic transmission, neurogenesis, and epigenetics, are thought to underlie the therapeutic benefits of SSRIs. In recent years, though, growing evidence in clinical and preclinical settings indicate that offspring exposed to SSRIs in utero or as neonates exhibit long-lasting behavioral adaptions. Clinically, children exposed to SSRIs in early life exhibit increased internalizing behavior reduced social behavior, and increased risk for depression in adolescence. Similarly, rodents exposed to SSRIs perinatally exhibit increased traits of anxiety- or depression-like behavior. Furthermore, certain individuals appear to be more susceptible to early life SSRI exposure than others, suggesting that perinatal SSRI exposure may pose greater risks for negative outcome within certain populations. Although SSRIs trigger a number of intracellular processes that likely contribute to their therapeutic effects, early life antidepressant exposure during critical neurodevelopmental periods may elicit lasting negative effects in offspring. In this review, we cover the basic development and structure of the serotonin system, how the system is affected by early life SSRI exposure, and the behavioral outcomes of perinatal SSRI exposure in both clinical and preclinical settings. We review recent evidence indicating that perinatal SSRI exposure perturbs the developing limbic system, including altered serotonergic transmission, neurogenesis, and epigenetic processes in the hippocampus, which may contribute to behavioral domains (e.g., sociability, cognition, anxiety, and behavioral despair) that are affected by perinatal SSRI treatment. Identifying the molecular mechanisms that underlie the deleterious behavioral effects of perinatal SSRI exposure may highlight biological mechanisms in the etiology of mood disorders. Moreover, because recent studies suggest that certain individuals may be more susceptible to the negative consequences of early life SSRI exposure than others, understanding mechanisms that drive such susceptibility could lead to individualized treatment strategies for depressed women who are or plan to become pregnant.
  • Article
    Serotonin (5-HT) is implicated in the regulation of both behavioral arousal and a brainstem alerting system that operates in wakefulness and in rapid eye movement sleep (REM). Activation of the brainstem alerting system is marked by the presence of ponto-geniculooccipital (PGO) waves that occur in association with orienting in wakefulness and spontaneously in REM. Local application of serotonergic agents into REM and PGO wave regulatory regions can alter REM, but there is conflicting evidence as to whether 5-HT in the brainstem can independently influence PGO wave generation. A potential site of action of 5-HT outside the brainstem is the amygdala, which can influence arousal as well as neurobiological responses to novel and significant stimuli. The amygdala also modulates the occurrence and amplitude of PGO waves. We discuss the linkages between arousal and alerting systems and the role 5-HT may play in their regulation at brainstem and amygdalar sites.
  • Article
    Serotonergic hallucinogens, such as (+)-lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin, and mescaline, are somewhat enigmatic substances. Although these drugs are derived from multiple chemical families, they all produce remarkably similar effects in animals and humans, and they show cross-tolerance. This article reviews the evidence demonstrating the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor is the primary site of hallucinogen action. The 5-HT2A receptor is responsible for mediating the effects of hallucinogens in human subjects, as well as in animal behavioral paradigms such as drug discrimination, head twitch response, prepulse inhibition of startle, exploratory behavior, and interval timing. Many recent clinical trials have yielded important new findings regarding the psychopharmacology of these substances. Furthermore, the use of modern imaging and electrophysiological techniques is beginning to help unravel how hallucinogens work in the brain. Evidence is also emerging that hallucinogens may possess therapeutic efficacy.
  • Article
    Many different 5-HT receptor subtypes have been identified, although the role of particular subtypes in the modulation of nociception is not known. It is known that 5-HT2A receptors play a role in spinal and peripheral sensitization and that they are expressed in neurons and astrocytes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an intraperitoneally adminis tered 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist and antagonist on hyperalgesia and allodynia using the chronic constriction injury (CCI) model and their concomitant effect on microglia activation in the spinal cord. Adult male Wistar rats were used. Experimental peripheral neuropathy was induced by a unilateral loose ligation of the sciatic nerve. We examined the effects of the 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist (+/-)-2, 5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI, 0.6, 1 mg/kg), and the 5-HT2A/2C antagonist ketanserin (0.5, 1 mg/kg). Tactile withdrawal thresh- olds (von Frey test) and heat withdrawal latencies (radiant heat) were assessed before and 1 h after drug application. Microglia was labelled with rabbit antiIba1. CCI rats displayed a significant tactile and thermal allodynia compared with control rats. Significant microglial activation was observed in the dorsal horn mainly ipsilateral of the constriction of the sciatic nerve. Pain-like behaviour on von Frey test was observed after treatment with DOI, more pronounced at a higher dose. The administration of ketanserin had no effect on thermal hyperalgesia or mechanical allodynia. Five days after the treatment with DOI (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and ketanserin (1 mg/kg, i.p.) a decreased Iba1 immunoreactivity was observed. Our results suggest modulatory activity of the serotonergic system on microglial activation.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Serotonin 5-HT2A receptors (5-HT2ARs) are widely distributed in the central nervous system, especially in brain region essential for learning and cognition. In addition to endogenous 5-HT, several hallucinogens, antipsychotics, and antidepressants function by targeting 5-HT2ARs. Preclinical studies show that 5-HT2AR antagonists have antipsychotic and antidepressant properties, whereas agonist ligands possess cognition-enhancing and hallucinogenic properties. Abnormal 5-HT2AR activity is associated with a number of psychiatric disorders and conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, and drug addiction. In addition to its traditional activity as a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), recent studies have defined novel operations of 5-HT2ARs. Here we review progress in the (1) receptor anatomy and biology: distribution, signaling, polymerization and allosteric modulation; and (2) receptor functions: learning and memory, hallucination and spatial cognition, and mental disorders. Based on the recent progress in basic research on the 5-HT2AR, it appears that post-training 5-HT2AR activation enhances non-spatial memory consolidation, while pre-training 5-HT2AR activation facilitates fear extinction. Further, the potential influence that 5-HT2AR-elicited visual hallucinations may have on visual cue (i.e., landmark) guided spatial cognition is discussed. We conclude that the development of selective 5-HT2AR modulators to target distinct signaling pathways and neural circuits represents a new possibility for treating emotional, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Article
    A corticolimbic circuit including the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) affects sensitivity to threat, related aspects of personality and risk for psychopathology. Serotonin (5‐HT) is a potent neuromodulator of this circuit, however, 5‐HT receptors mediating these effects and genetic sources of variability in 5‐HT receptor availability are not understood. We determined the association between 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A binding and the response to threat within this corticolimbic circuit using a multimodal neuroimaging strategy in humans in vivo. Corticolimbic circuit function was assessed with a threat‐related faces matching paradigm using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Regional 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A binding was assessed with [11C]WAY100635 and [18F]altanserin PET, respectively. We evaluated the association between receptor binding and common polymorphisms (rs6295, rs6311 and 5‐HTTLPR) in 5‐HT related genes.In Study 1 we found that 5‐HT1A binding within the dorsal raphe nucleus was inversely associated with threat‐related amygdala reactivity. This is consistent with 5‐HT1A autoreceptors negatively regulating 5‐HT release, which within the amygdalapotentiates its response to threat. In Study 2 we found that mPFC 5‐HT2A binding was inversely associated with threat‐related amygdala reactivity and positively associated with amygdala habituation and amygdala‐mPFC functional connectivity. In Study 3 we found that mPFC 5‐HT1A binding significantly moderated the inverse association between mPFC 5‐HT2A binding and amygdala reactivity.These findings are consistent with the co‐localization of 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A on glutamatergic neurons within mPFC indicating the 5‐HT2A receptor is localized to facilitate regulation of the amygdala and the 5‐HT1A receptor is localized to moderate its effects within mPFC. In Study 4 we found that 5‐HTTLPR genotype predicted 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A binding in brain regions within this circuit such that the S and LG alleles were associated with reduced 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A binding.These findings provide novel insight into mechanisms that mediate the effects of 5‐HT signaling on the response to threat of a key corticolimbic circuit in humans. Our findings indicate that 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A receptors contribute significantly to threat‐related corticolimbic circuit function in humans. Furthermore, the 5‐HTTLPR may contribute to individual variability in neural and behavioral sensitivity to threat by biasing 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A availability.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    In goal-directed pursuits, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical in learning about changes in the value of rewards. BLA-lesioned rats show enhanced reversal learning, a task employed to measure the flexibility of response to changes in reward. Similarly, there is a trend for enhanced discrimination learning, suggesting that BLA may modulate formation of stimulus-reward associations. There is a parallel literature on the importance of serotonin (5HT) in new stimulus-reward and reversal learning. Recent postulations implicate 5HT in learning from punishment. Whereas, dopaminergic involvement is critical in behavioral activation and reinforcement, 5HT may be most critical for aversive processing and behavioral inhibition, complementary cognitive processes. Given these findings, a 5HT-mediated mechanism in BLA may mediate the facilitated learning observed previously. The present study investigated the effects of selective 5HT lesions in BLA using 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) vs. infusions of saline (Sham) on discrimination, retention, and deterministic reversal learning. Rats were required to reach an 85% correct pairwise discrimination and single reversal criterion prior to surgery. Postoperatively, rats were then tested on the (1) retention of the pretreatment discrimination pair, (2) discrimination of a novel pair, and (3) reversal learning performance. We found statistically comparable preoperative learning rates between groups, intact postoperative retention, and unaltered novel discrimination and reversal learning in 5,7-DHT rats. These findings suggest that 5HT in BLA is not required for formation and flexible adjustment of new stimulus-reward associations when the strategy to efficiently solve the task has already been learned. Given the complementary role of orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning and its interconnectivity with BLA, these findings add to the list of dissociable mechanisms for BLA and orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning.
  • Article
    There is mounting evidence that most cognitive functions depend upon the coordinated activity of neuronal networks often located far away in the brain. Ensembles of neurons synchronize their activity generating oscillations at different frequencies that may encode behaviour by allowing an efficient communication between brain areas. The serotonin system, by virtue of the widespread arborisation of serotonergic neurons, is in an excellent position to exert strong modulatory actions on brain rhythms. These include specific oscillatory activities in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, two brain areas essential for many higher-order cognitive functions. Psychiatric patients show abnormal oscillatory activities in these areas, notably patients with schizophrenia who display psychotic symptoms as well as affective and cognitive impairments. A synchronization of neural activity between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus seems to be important for cognition and, in fact, reduced prefronto-hippocampal synchrony has been observed in a genetic mouse model of schizophrenia. Here, we review recent advances in the field of neuromodulation of brain rhythms by serotonin, focusing on the actions of serotonin in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. Considering that the serotonergic system plays a crucial role in cognition and mood and is a target of many psychiatric treatments, it is surprising that this field of research is still in its infancy. In that regard, we point to future investigations much needed in this field.
  • Article
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    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs. The addition of low dose of 5-hydroxytryptamine type 2A enhances the therapeutic effect of SSRIs. The purpose of the present studies was to test the effects of combined treatment of a low dose of ketanserin (KET) and escitalopram (ESC) on behavioral anomalies occurring after olfactory bulbectomy (OBX). Chronic Depression was induced by OBX as shown in behavioral tests such as Open field, social interaction, and hyperemotionality tests. Acute and chronic treatment effect of KET, ESC, and combination was administered to the OBX rats. Chronic (14 days) treatment with KET (1 mg/kg) or ESC (10 mg/kg) alleviated the behavioral anomalies of olfactory bulbectomized rats in modified open field exploration, social interaction, hyperemotionality. When KET treatment was combined with ESC, a short duration regimen (7 days) was sufficient to reverse the bulbectomy-induced anomalies. The combination therapy as a likely strategy to achieve an early-onset of antidepressant action.
  • Article
    Neurogenesis continues in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult rodents and primates including humans. Neurons are born in the underlying subgranular layer (SGL) and move into the granule cell layer (GCL) to become mature granule neurons. Recent work indicates that the primary precursors for these new neurons correspond to radial astrocytes whose cell body is in the SGL and their processes traverse the GCL. These astrocytes divide to give rise to intermediate precursors, D cells that likely become mature granule neurons. Here we propose that the anatomy of radial astrocytes may allow for signals within the GCL to regulate neurogenesis in the SGL. Levels of neuronal activity within the granule cell layer may regulate the proliferation rates of radial astrocytes and determine the number of new neurons produced in the dentate gyrus.
  • Article
    Unlabelled: Exposure to 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) can lead to spatial memory impairments and hippocampal cell death. Numerous evidence indicates that the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) exerts protective effects in the brain. The present study evaluates the effects of NAC on MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. Methods: We intraperitoneally injected 28 adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (200-250 g) with either 0, 10 mg/kg of MDMA, or 10 mg/kg of MDMA plus 100 mg/kg of NAC. Spatial memory was assessed with a Morris Water Maze (MWM). At the end of the study, rats' brains were removed to study the structure and ultrastructure of CA1, and measure Bcl-2 and Bax expressions in the hippocampus. In the MWM, NAC treatment significantly attenuated the MDMA-induced increase in distance traveled (p < 0.05) and escape latency (p < 0.001). The decreased time spent in the target quadrant in MDMA-treated animals was attenuated by NAC (p < 0.01). NAC significantly protected against MDMA-induced apoptosis and the up- and down-regulation of Bax and Bcl-2, respectively. These data have suggested that NAC could protect against behavioral changes and apoptosis in the hippocampus following administration of MDMA. NAC might be useful for the treatment of neurotoxicity in MDMA users.
  • Article
    The distribution of serotonin-2 (5-HT2) receptors in the rat brain was studied by light microscopic quantitative autoradiography. Receptors were labeled with four ligands: [3H]ketanserin, [3H]mesulergine, [3H]LSD and [3H]spiperone, which are reported to show high affinity for 5-HT2 receptors. Co-incubation with increasing concentrations of several well-known 5-HT2-selective drugs, such as pirenperone, cinanserin and ketanserin, resulted in an inhibition of the binding of the four 3H-labeled ligands to the same areas. However, all of them recognized, in addition to 5-HT2 sites, other populations of binding sites. Receptor densities were quantified by microdensitometry with the aid of a computer-assisted image-analysis system. Our results reveal a heterogeneous distribution of 5-HT2 receptor densities in the rat brain. Very high concentrations were localized in the claustrum, olfactory tubercle and layer IV of the neocortex. The anterior olfactory nucleus, piriform cortex and layer I of neocortex were also rich in 5-HT2 receptors. Intermediate concentrations of receptors were found in caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, layer V of neocortex, ventral dentate gyrus and mammillary bodies. Areas containing only low concentrations of receptors included the thalamus, hippocampus, brainstem, medulla, cerebellum and spinal cord. The specificity of the different ligands used is discussed in terms of the other populations of sites recognized by them. The distribution of 5-HT2 receptors here reported is discussed in correlation with (a) the known distribution of serotoninergic terminals, (b) the specific anatomical systems and (c) the central effects reported to be mediated by 5-HT2-selective drugs.
  • Autoradiographic characterization of (Ϯ)-1
    • R A Glennon
    • M Teitler
    • E B Desouza
    Glennon, R. A.; Teitler, M.; DeSouza, E. B. Autoradiographic characterization of (Ϯ)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-[
  • Article
    • Suicidal behavior has been linked to a deficiency in serotonin neurotransmission, but it is not known which brain regions are involved. We determined the pattern of alteration in serotonin 5-HT2 (5-HT2) receptor binding sites in suicide victims in prefrontal cortex compared with temporal cortex using a matched-pairs design to study 11 suicide victims and 11 matched controls, by both membrane binding and quantitative receptor autoradiography. Since a relationship between the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems has been proposed, we also examined β-adrenergic receptor binding sites. Binding to 5-HT2 and β-adrenergic sites in slide-mounted sections correlated strongly with binding site number in membrane preparations. A specific laminar distribution of 5-HT2 binding sites was found in both the control and suicide groups, whereas β-adrenergic binding sites did not differ across cortical layers. A significant increase was found in suicide victims across all cortical layers in both receptor subpopulations in the prefrontal cortex, but only β-adrenergic sites were increased in the temporal cortex. We conclude that suicide is associated with a localized increase in 5-HT2 binding sites.
  • Article
    Serotonergic neurotransmission represents a complex mechanism involving pre- and post-synaptic events and distinct 5-HT receptor subtypes. Serotonin (5-HT) receptors have been classified into several categories, and they are termed as 5-HT1, 5-HT2, 5-HT3, 5-HT4, 5-HT5, 5-HT6 and 5-HT7 type receptors. 5-HT1 receptors have been further subdivided into 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT1E and 5-HT1F. 5-HT2 receptors have been divided into 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B and 5-HT2C receptors. All 5-HT2 receptor subtypes are linked to the multifunctional phosphoinositide (PI) signalling system. 5-HT3 receptors are considered ion-gated receptors and are also linked to the PI signalling system by an unknown mechanism. The 5-HT2A receptor subtype is the most widely studied of the 5-HT receptors in psychiatric disorders (for example, suicide, depression and schizophrenia) as well as in relation to the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. The roles of 5-HT2C and 5-HT3 receptors in psychiatric disorders are less clear. These 5-HT receptors also play an important role in alcoholism. It has been shown that 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C and 5-HT3 antagonists cause attenuation of alcohol intake in animals and humans. However, the exact mechanisms are unknown. The recent cloning of the cDNAs for 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C and 5-HT3 receptors provides the opportunity to explore the molecular mechanisms responsible for the alterations in these receptors during illness as well as pharmacotherapy. This review article will focus on the current research into the pharmacological properties, molecular biology, and clinical correlates of 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C and 5-HT3 receptors.
  • Article
    The biogenic amine, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), was first described in extracts of natural materials almost 30 years ago (see review by Collier, 1957). Twarog and Page (1953) and Amin et al. (1954) were the first to demonstrate, on pharmacological evidence, the occurence of 5-HT in the central nervous system of the dog which was confirmed by Bogdanski et al. (1956) and Correale (1956) by physicochemical criteria.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Suicidal behavior has been linked to a deficiency in serotonin neurotransmission, but it is not known which brain regions are involved. We determined the pattern of alteration in serotonin 5-HT2 (5-HT2) receptor binding sites in suicide victims in prefrontal cortex compared with temporal cortex using a matched-pairs design to study 11 suicide victims and 11 matched controls, by both membrane binding and quantitative receptor autoradiography. Since a relationship between the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems has been proposed, we also examined beta-adrenergic receptor binding sites. Binding to 5-HT2 and beta-adrenergic sites in slide-mounted sections correlated strongly with binding site number in membrane preparations. A specific laminar distribution of 5-HT2 binding sites was found in both the control and suicide groups, whereas beta-adrenergic binding sites did not differ across cortical layers. A significant increase was found in suicide victims across all cortical layers in both receptor subpopulations in the prefrontal cortex, but only beta-adrenergic sites were increased in the temporal cortex. We conclude that suicide is associated with a localized increase in 5-HT2 binding sites.
  • Article
    Over the past decade, a variety of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptor/binding sites have been identified. These include 5-HT1, 5-HT2, and 5-HT3 sites. The 5-HT1 sites have been further divided into 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1C, 5-HT1D and 5-HT1E sites. It would be of interest to identify those pharmacological effects that are specifically mediated by a particular population of 5-HT sites and, indeed, attempts have been made to do this almost since the initial discovery of multiple populations of sites. Unfortunately, much of the early work made use of serotonergic agents that are now known to be somewhat less selective than originally suspected. Nevertheless, there is ample information in the literature suggesting that site-selective serotonergic agents may ultimately lead (and, in some cases, has already led) to the development of therapeutically-useful agents. The present review examines the pharmacological effects that are thought to be related to the individual types of 5-HT sites and provides some clinical implications for agents that act at these sites.
  • Article
    A basic property of immature neurons is their ability to change position from the place of their final mitotic division in proliferative centers of the developing brain to the specific positions they will occupy in a given structure of the adult nervous system. Proper acquisition of neuron position, attained through the process of active migration, ultimately affects a cell's morphology, synaptic connectivity and function. Although various classes of neurons may use different molecular cues to guide their migration to distant structures, a surface-mediated interaction between neighboring cells is considered essential for all types of migration. Disturbance of this cell-cell interaction may be important in several congenital and/or acquired brain abnormalities. The present article considers the basic mechanisms and principles of neuronal cell migration in the mammalian central nervous system.
  • Article
    The 5-HT2 (serotonin) receptor has traditionally been labeled with antagonist radioligands such as [3H]ketanserin and [3H]spiperone, which label both agonist high-affinity (guanyl nucleotide-sensitive) and agonist low-affinity (guanyl nucleotide-insensitive) states of this receptor. The hallucinogen 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) is an agonist which labels the high-affinity guanyl nucleotide-sensitive state of brain 5-HT2 receptors selectively. In the present study, conditions for autoradiographic visualization of (+/-)-[125I]DOI-labeled 5-HT2 receptors were optimized and binding to slide-mounted sections was characterized with respect to pharmacology, guanyl nucleotide sensitivity and anatomical distribution. In slide-mounted rat brain sections (+/-)-[125I]DOI binding was saturable, of high affinity (KD approximately 4 nM) and displayed a pharmacologic profile typical of 5-HT2 receptors. Consistent with coupling of 5-HT2 receptors in the high-affinity state to a guanyl nucleotide regulatory protein, [125I]DOI binding was inhibited by guanyl nucleotides but not by adenosine triphosphate. Patterns of autoradiographic distribution of [125I]DOI binding to 5-HT2 receptors were similar to those seen with [3H]ketanserin- and [125I]-lysergic acid diethylamide-labeled 5-HT2 receptors. However, the density of 5-HT2 receptors labeled by the agonist [125I]DOI was markedly lower (30-50%) than that labeled by the antagonist [3H]ketanserin. High densities of [125I]DOI labeling were present in olfactory bulb, anterior regions of cerebral cortex (layer IV), claustrum, caudate putamen, globus pallidus, ventral pallidum, islands of Calleja, mammillary nuclei and inferior olive. Binding in hippocampus, thalamus and hypothalamus was generally sparse. Of note, choroid plexus, a site rich in 5-HT1c receptors had a high density of [125I]DOI binding sites but [3H]ketanserin binding in this region was low. Studies in which [125I]DOI binding to 5-HT2 receptors was blocked with spiperone revealed persisting robust [125I]DOI binding in choroid plexus, which was guanyl nucleotide-sensitive and displayed a pharmacologic profile consistent with its binding to 5-HT1c receptors. These studies suggest that [125I]DOI may be useful as a radiolabel for visualizing the agonist high-affinity state of 5-HT2 receptors and for visualizing 5-HT1c receptors.
  • Article
    32P-labelled oligonucleotides complementary to rat 5-HT2 receptor mRNA were used as probes to study the distribution of cells in rat brain containing the mRNA coding for this receptor by in situ hybridization histochemistry. 5-HT2 receptor binding sites were visualized by autoradiography using [125I]DOI as ligand. Both distributions were comparable, demonstrating that 5-HT2 receptors are expressed by cells intrinsic to the neocortex (lamina Va), claustrum, olfactory bulb and several nuclei of the brainstem.
  • Article
    5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) stimulated the turnover of phosphoinositide in primary cultures of astroglia from the cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus and brain stem. Ketanserin and ritanserin, selective antagonists for the central 5-HT2 receptor, inhibited the 5-HT-stimulated formation of inositol monophosphate. In contrast, there was no statistically significant accumulation of cyclic AMP after incubation with different concentrations of 5-HT in any of the cultures studied. The results indicate that astrocytes from various regions of the brain possess 5-HT2 receptors coupled to the formation of inositol phosphates.
  • Article
    The anatomic relationship between serotonergic (5-HT) axons and 5-HT2 receptors in the rat forebrain was determined by a combined analysis of transmitter immunocytochemistry and receptor autoradiography. High densities of 5-HT2 receptors, localized by the ligand N1-methyl-2-125I-LSD (125I-MIL), are found in neocortex and striatum; these regions also receive a dense serotonergic innervation. Regional variations in the density of 5-HT2 receptors and 5-HT axons correspond closely in most, but not all, areas of the forebrain. In somatosensory cortex (SI), the laminar distribution of 5-HT2 receptors closely matches that of 5-HT axons: in particular, a dense band of 5-HT2 receptors in layer Va of SI is in precise register with a dense plexus of fine 5-HT axons. We have also observed a close spatial relationship between 5-HT2 receptors and fine axons in other areas of the forebrain, suggesting that 5-HT2 receptors may be selectively linked to a particular type of 5-HT axon terminal. Since fine axons of this type have been reported to arise from the dorsal raphe nucleus, it appears likely that 5-HT2 receptors may mediate the effects of dorsal but not median raphe projections.
  • Article
    Monoclonal antibodies to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) were used in an immunocytochemical study to characterize putative cholinergic neurons and synaptic junctions in rat caudate-putamen. Light microscopy (LM) revealed that ChAT-positive neurons are distributed throughout the striatum. These cells have large oval or multipolar somata, and exhibit three to four primary dendrites that branch and extend long distances. Quantitative analysis of counterstained preparations indicated that ChAT-positive neurons constitute 1.7% of the total neuronal population. Electron microscopy (EM) of immunoreactive neurons initially studied by LM revealed somata characterized by deeply invaginated nuclei and by abundant amounts of organelle-rich cytoplasm. Surfaces of ChAT-positive neurons are frequently smooth, but occasional somatic protrusions and dendritic spines occur. Although infrequently observed, axons of ChAT-positive neurons branch, receive synapses, and become myelinated. Unlabeled boutons make both symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses with ChAT-positive somata and proximal dendrites, but are more numerous on distal dendrites. In addition, some unlabeled terminals form asymmetrical synapses with ChAT-positive somata and dendrites that are distinguished by prominent subsynaptic dense bodies. Light microscopy demonstrated a dense distribution of ChAT-positive fibers and punctate structures in the striatum, and these structures appear to correlate, respectively, with labeled preterminal axons and presynaptic boutons identified by EM. ChAT-positive boutons contain pleomorphic vesicles, and make symmetrical synapses primarily with unlabeled dendritic shafts. Furthermore, they establish synaptic contacts with somata, dendrites and axon initial segments of unlabeled neurons that ultrastructurally resemble medium spiny neurons. These observations, together with the results of other investigations, suggest that medium spiny GABAergic projection neurons receive a cholinergic innervation that is probably derived from ChAT-positive striatal cells. The results of this study also indicate that cholinergic neurons within caudate-putamen belong to a single population of cells that have large somata and extensive sparsely spined dendrites. Such neurons, in combination with dense concentrations of ChAT-positive fibers and terminals, are the likely basis for the large amounts of ChAT and acetylcholine detected biochemically within the neostriatum.
  • Article
    Antidepressants compete at several neurotransmitter receptor binding site, but drug affinities do not correlate with clinical efficacy. Long-term, but not short-term, antidepressant treatment decreases the numbers of both serotonin and beta-adrenergic receptors. The decrease in the number of receptor sites is most marked for [3H]spiroperidol-labeled serotonin receptors and is characteristic for antidepressants of several classes.
  • Article
    The serotonin2 (5-HT2) receptor has been implicated in a number of behavioral and physiological processes. It may also play a role in cellular development and differentiation, and represents a site of action of hallucinogens and certain psychotherapeutic drugs. To better understand the functions and regulation of the 5-HT2 receptor, we have undertaken a series of studies in which we attempted to identify the specific cell types that express the receptor. This was accomplished using a variety of double-labeling strategies with an antibody we raised against the rat 5-HT2 receptor protein. In this review, we recount of some of our previously published findings and present some new data in which we identify subpopulations of cholinergic neurons in the brainstem and gamma-aminobutynic acid (GABA)ergic interneurons in the cortex that express 5-HT2 receptor immunoreactivity. Developmentally, the appearance of 5-HT2 receptor immunoreactivity occurs relatively late in teh ontogeny of the cells in which it is expressed, mostly in the early postnatal period. This argues against a significant role for this receptor in early development, though it may participate in some aspect of terminal differentiation. We discuss the significance of the cell-type-specific and temporal expression of the 5-HT2 receptor in the context of current hypotheses of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • Article
    With the increasing number of 5-HT receptors recently identified, using molecular biology techniques, the classification of 5-HT receptors is under review. An integrated approach is proposed to include operational and transductional as well as structural criteria for definitive receptor characterization. On this basis the existence of as many as seven classes of 5-HT receptor are recognized although only the 5-HT1, 5-HT2 and 5-HT3 receptor classes are well defined.
  • Article
    Because of their similarities, serotonin 5-HT2, 5-HT1C, and the recently described 5-HT2F receptors have been classified as members of the 5-HT2 receptor family, and they have been renamed 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C and 5-HT2B, respectively. The regional distribution and cellular localization of mRNA coding for the members of 5-HT2 receptor family were investigated in consecutive tissue sections from the rat brain by in situ hybridization histochemistry. No evidence for the expression of 5-HT2B receptor was found. High levels of 5-HT2A (formerly 5-HT2) receptor mRNA were observed only in few areas, as the frontal cortex, piriform cortex, ventro-caudal part of CA3, medial mammillary nucleus, the pontine nuclei and the motor cranial nerve nuclei in the brainstem, and the ventral horn of the spinal cord. The distribution of 5-HT2A receptor mRNA is generally in good agreement with that of the corresponding binding sites, although discrepancies were sometimes observed. 5-HT2C (formerly 5-HT1C) mRNA was present at very high levels in the choroid plexuses. However, very high levels were also seen in many other brain regions, as the retrosplenial, piriform and entorhinal cortex, anterior olfactory nucleus, lateral septal nucleus, subthalamic nucleus, amygdala, subiculum and ventral part of CA3, lateral habenula, substantia nigra pars compacta, several brainstem nuclei and the whole grey matter of the spinal cord. These results confirm and extend previous observations that 5-HT2C receptor mRNA is present in many brain areas in addition to those autoradiographically shown to have the corresponding binding sites and that 5-HT2C receptor subtype is a principal 5-HT receptor in the brain. From the comparison between their distributions, 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptor mRNAs appeared to be expressed in distinct but overlapping sets of brain regions. Both mRNAs coexisted at high levels in the anterior olfactory nucleus, piriform cortex, endopiriform nucleus, claustrum, pyramidal cell layer of the ventral part of CA3, taenia tecta, substantia nigra pars compacta, and several brainstem nuclei. In other regions both mRNAs were present but with different distributions, as the caudate-putamen. These results are also discussed in relation to the physiological meaning of the existence of two so similar receptor subtypes in the brain.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Neurochemical investigation has played a major role in the search for the cause of schizophrenia. Initial research strategies involved the direct measurement of neurochemical substances in biological fluids. Subsequently, indirect measures of brain biochemistry including pituitary hormones and responses to pharmacologic probes were examined. Recent advances in in vivo functional neuroimaging, biochemical neuropathology, and molecular genetics have extended the scope of clinical neurochemical studies. The historical emphasis on the dopamine neurotransmitter system has subsided in the wake of the demonstrated limitations of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia and increased evidence for the role of other neurotransmitters in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia as well as their interactions with dopamine neural systems. The neurotransmitters that have come under increasing scrutiny include serotonin, norepinephrine, glutamate, and related excitatory amino acids, and the neuropeptides cholecystokinin and neurotensin. In this article, the authors reviewed significant recently published neurochemical and neuroendocrine studies of schizophrenia in the context of previous work and found an extensive but fragmentary body of data which provides neither consistent nor conclusive evidence for any specific etiologic theory. Aspects of the disease and methodological limitations that may account for this as well as future research strategies are discussed.
  • Article
    Serotonin2 receptors have been implicated in a variety of behavioral and physiological processes, as well as a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. To specify the brain regions and specific cell types possessing serotonin2 receptors, we conducted an immunocytochemical study of the rat brain using a polyclonal serotonin2 receptor antibody. Perfusion-fixed rat brain sections were processed for immunocytochemistry and reactivity was visualized using an immunoperoxidase reaction. Numerous small, round neurons were heavily labeled in the granular and periglomerular regions of the olfactory bulb. Heavy labeling of medium-sized multipolar and bipolar neurons was also seen in olfactory regions of the ventral forebrain, including the anterior olfactory nucleus and olfactory tubercle. Other regions of the basal forebrain exhibiting high levels of immunoreactivity were the nucleus accumbens, ventral pallidum, Islands of Calleja, fundus striatum and endopyriform nucleus. Immunoreactive neurons were also seen in the lateral amygdala. A dense band of small, round cells was stained in layer 2 of pyriform cortex. In neocortex, a very sparse and even distribution of bipolar and multipolar neurons was seen throughout layers II-VI. A much more faintly labeled population of oval cells was observed in the deep layer of retrosplenial and posterior cingulate cortex, and in the granular layer of somatosensory frontoparietal cortex. A moderate number of medium bipolar and multipolar cells were scattered throughout the neostriatum, and a moderate number of pyramidal and pyramidal-like cells were seen in the CA fields of the hippocampus. Diencephalic areas showing immunolabeling included the medial habenula and anterior pretectal nucleus, with less labeling in the ventral lateral geniculate. In the hindbrain, two dense populations of large multipolar cells were heavily labeled in the pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei, with lesser labeling in the periaqueductal gray, superior colliculus, spinal trigeminal nucleus and nucleus of the solitary tract. Based on the distribution, localization and morphology of immunoreactive neurons in these regions, we hypothesize that subpopulations of serotonin2 containing cells may be GABAergic interneurons or cholinergic neurons. Further, the observed distribution suggests that the physiological effects of serotonin acting through serotonin2 receptors are mediated by a relatively small number of cells in the brain. These observations may have strong functional implications for the pharmacological treatment of certain neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Article
    Radioligand binding, Northern blot analysis, and changes in [Ca2+]i were used to study serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT)] receptor subtypes in primary cultures of astrocytes from neonatal rat cerebral cortex. Radioligand binding studies revealed the presence of 5HT2, but not the 5HT1 or 5HT3 receptor subtypes. Radioligand binding was also used to show the presence of serotonin uptake sites, which had previously been shown to be present by [3H]-5HT uptake, and also alpha 1-adrenergic receptors as has previously been reported by binding studies. Northern blot analysis of cortical astrocyte mRNA demonstrated the presence of transcripts for 5HT2 receptors, but failed to identify mRNA for 5HT1a or 5HT1c receptors. Thus, results from Northern blot analysis correlated with the radioligand binding data which showed only 5HT2 receptors. Equilibrium saturation studies, using 125[I]-LSD to label 5HT2 receptors, yielded a KD of 9 nM and a Bmax of 177 fmol/mg protein. Radioligand binding studies or primary astrocyte cultures prepared from other brain regions also showed the presence of alpha 1-adrenergic, 5HT2 receptor, and 5HT-uptake sites, but no detectable 5HT1a receptors, which were the only 5HT1 receptors studied. Studies demonstrating 5HT-induced, spiperone- and ketanserin-sensitive increases in free [Ca2+]i as measured by FURA-2, showed that the 5HT2 receptors were functional in these cells. These data provide clear evidence for the existence of both 5HT2 receptors and 5HT-uptake sites in the same primary astrocyte cultures from neonatal rat cerebral cortex, with no detectable evidence of 5HT1a or 5HT1c subtypes.
  • Article
    In this study, we investigated the regional and temporal emergence of 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor immunoreactivity in the developing rat brain. In a qualitative immunocytochemical analysis using an antibody against the rat 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor protein, we visualized cells expressing the receptor in the pontine tegmentum, caudate nucleus, basal forebrain, hippocampus and neocortex of developing rats. Three potentially important periods in the developmental regulation of 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptors were identified: the time of onset, a period of accelerated expression and hyper-elaboration, and a period of regression. In general, the onset of 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor immunoreactivity occurred relatively late in the ontogeny of cells in these regions, in the late prenatal and early postnatal periods. Following the perinatal onset of receptor expression, there was a rapid increase in the number of immunoreactive neurons during the first week after birth. In neocortex, there appeared to be a relative over-expression of the receptor, with an elevated density and hyper-elaboration of immunopositive neurons relative to the adult, reaching a peak at the end of the second week. There was then a gradual decrease in both the density and morphological complexity of cortical 5-hydroxytryptamine2-labelled neurons, until the adult pattern of expression was achieved at about four weeks of age. In all areas studied, cells positive for the 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor were first detected within the regions in which they would ultimately reside, and after the known periods of cell proliferation for these regions. These observations would argue against a role for the 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor as a transducer of the early developmental influences of serotonin in the central nervous system, but leave open the possibility that the receptor may participate in regulating some aspect of terminal differentiation or late maturation of the neurons on which it is found. The identification of important developmental periods in the ontogeny of 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptors suggests time-points at which events that disrupt the normal ontogenetic pattern of expression could produce long-lasting effects on central serotonergic neurotransmission.
  • Article
    Studies related to 5-HT2A/2C receptors and these receptor-linked phosphoinositide (PI) system in the rat brain during chronic ethanol treatment and withdrawal are discussed. Chronic ethanol treatment (60 days) has no effect on 5-HT2A/2C receptors in the cortex and the hippocampus but significantly decreased 5-HT-stimulated PI hydrolysis in the rat cortex. On the other hand, chronic ethanol treatment (60 days) significantly increased 5-HT2C receptors and 5-HT-stimulated PI hydrolysis in the rat choroid plexus. Ethanol withdrawal (24 h) after chronic ethanol consumption (15 days) results in the down-regulation of 5-HT2A receptors and in a decrease in 5-HT-stimulated PI hydrolysis in the rat cortex. Taken together, these results, along with other reports in the literature, suggest that 5-HT2A/2C receptors or their function are altered during chronic ethanol consumption and withdrawal. Further studies are needed to explore the role of 5-HT2A/2C receptors and the PI signal transduction system in the development of ethanol withdrawal symptoms after chronic ethanol consumption.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    By intracellular and whole cell recording in rat brain slices, it was found that bath-applied serotonin (5-HT) produces an increase in the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic potentials/currents (EPSPs/EPSCs) in layer V pyramidal cells of neocortex and transitional cortex (e.g. medial prefrontal, cigulate and frontoparietal). The EPSCs were suppressed by LY293558, an antagonist selective for the AMPA subtype of excitatory amino acid receptor, and by two selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonists, MDL 100907 and SR 46349B. In addition, the EPSCs were suppressed by the fast sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) and were dependent upon external calcium. However, despite being TTX-sensitive and calcium dependent, there was no evidence that the EPSPs resulted from an increase in impulse flow in excitatory neuronal afferents to layer V pyramidal cells. The EPSCs could be induced rapidly by the microiontophoresis of 5-HT directly to "hot spots" within the apical (but not basilar) dendritic field of recorded neurons, indicating that excitatory amino acids may be released by a TTX-sensitive focal action of 5-HT on a subset of glutamatergic terminals in this region. Consistent with such a presynaptic action, the inhibitory metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist (1S,3S)-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylate markedly reduced the induction of EPSPs by 5-HT. Postsynaptically, 5-HT enhanced a subthreshold TTX-sensitive sodium current, potentially contributing to an amplification of EPSC amplitudes. These data suggest 5-HT. via 5-HT2A receptors, enhances spontaneous EPSPs/EPSCs in neocortical layer V pyramidal cells through a TTX-sensitive focal action in the apical dendritic field which may involve both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms.
  • Article
    The distribution of 5-HT2A receptors in rat cortex was evaluated using newly developed antibodies. Each of three antibodies tested identified an identical pattern of 5-HT2A-like immunoreactivity (5-HT2A-li) in rat cortex with 5-HT2A-li showing a widespread distribution. The majority of 5-HT2A-li cells displayed a pyramidal morphology. While a minority, some cortical neurons with a bipolar morphology displayed 5-HT2A-li as well. Dual-label fluorescence confocal microscopic studies with a 5-HT2A antibody and a mouse monoclonal antibody to parvalbumin, a marker of a subset of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons in the cortex, demonstrated that although some cells expressing 5-HT2A-li were interneurons, most were not.
  • Article
    To identify the cortical sites where 5-hydroxytryptamine2A (5-HT2A) serotonin receptors respond to the action of hallucinogens and atypical antipsychotic drugs, we have examined the cellular and subcellular distribution of these receptors in the cerebral cortex of macaque monkeys (with a focus on prefrontal areas) by using light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical techniques. 5-HT2A receptor immunoreactivity was detected in all cortical layers, among which layers II and III and layers V and VI were intensely stained, and layer IV was weakly labeled. The majority of the receptor-labeled cells were pyramidal neurons and the most intense immunolabeling was consistently confined to their parallelly aligned proximal apical dendrites that formed two intensely stained bands above and below layer IV. In double-label experiments, 5-HT2A label was found in calbindin D28k-positive, nonphosphorylated-neurofilament-positive, and immuno-negative pyramidal cells, suggesting that probably all pyramidal cells express 5-HT2A receptors. 5-HT2A label was also found in large- and medium-size interneurons, some of which were immuno-positive for calbindin. 5-HT2A receptor label was also associated with axon terminals. These findings reconcile the data on the receptor's cortical physiology and localization by (i) establishing that 5-HT2A receptors are located postsynaptically and presynaptically, (ii) demonstrating that pyramidal neurons constitute the major 5-HT2A-receptor-expressing cells in the cortex, and (iii) supporting the view that the apical dendritic field proximal to the pyramidal cell soma is the "hot spot" for 5-HT2A-receptor-mediated physiological actions relevant to normal and "psychotic" functional states of the cerebral cortex.
  • Article
    Serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2A receptor) is widely distributed in the central nervous system, and has been suggested to be involved in a variety of behavioral conditions and neuropsychiatric disorders. Two polyclonal antibodies were raised against the N-terminus peptide of rat 5-HT2A receptor in chickens (5-HT2A-N) and a glutathione S-transferase fusion protein that contained the C-terminus of the mouse 5-HT2A receptor in rabbits (5-HT2A-C). Affinity-purified 5-HT2A-N and -C antibodies reacted strongly with a single band of 77-78 kDa in postsynaptic density proteins prepared from the rat cortex. The distribution pattern of immunoreactive structures in the rat brain was virtually the same for the two antibodies. The highest levels of immunoreactivity were observed in the olfactory bulb, neocortex, claustrum, piriform cortex, mamillary bodies, pontine nuclei, red nucleus and cranial motor nuclei. In the olfactory bulb, mitral cells were intensely labeled. In the neocortex, many immunoreactive neurons were found in layers II-VI. In layer IV of the neocortex, strong neuropil labeling was observed. In a double-labeling study using chicken 5-HT2A-N and rabbit anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibody, a considerable number of GFAP positive cells also showed 5-HT2A immunoreactivity. By using an immunoelectron microscopic technique, 5-HT2A receptor immunoreaction was shown to be localized just beneath the postsynaptic membrane thickening of asymmetric synapses.