In vivo assessment of the midbrain raphe nuclear regulation of serotonin release in the hamster suprachiasmatic nucleus.
Serotonin (5-HT) plays important regulatory roles in mammalian circadian timekeeping; however, little is known concerning the regulation of serotonergic activity in the circadian clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). By using in vivo microdialysis to measure 5-HT release we demonstrated that electrical or pharmacological stimulations of the dorsal or median raphe nuclei (DRN and MRN, respectively) can alter basal release of 5-HT in the hamster SCN. There were similar increases in SCN 5-HT release after electrical stimulation of either the MRN or DRN, indicating that both could contribute to the serotonergic activity in the SCN. Systemic pretreatment with the 5-HT antagonist metergoline abolished DRN-induced SCN 5-HT release but had little effect on MRN-induced SCN 5-HT release, suggesting different pathways for these nuclei in regulating 5-HT output in the SCN. Microinjections of the 5-HT1A autoreceptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT or antagonist WAY 100635 into the MRN caused significant inhibition and stimulation of SCN 5-HT release, respectively. Both drugs had substantially less effect in the DRN. These differential drug actions indicate that somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors on MRN neurons provide the prominent raphe autoregulation of 5-HT output in the SCN. Collectively the current results are evidence that DRN as well as MRN neurons can contribute to the regulation of 5-HT release in the hamster SCN. On the basis of the current observations and those from recent anatomic tracing studies of serotonergic projections to SCN it is hypothesized that DRN input to the SCN could be mediated by a DRN --> MRN --> SCN pathway involving a 5-HT-sensitive multisynaptic interaction between the DRN and MRN neurons. (+info)
Antinociceptive properties of fenfluramine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in a rat model of neuropathy.
Fenfluramine is an indirect agonist of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors that acts by evoking 5-HT release and blocking 5-HT reuptake in neuronal cells. The current study compared the antinociceptive properties of fenfluramine with those of the tricyclic antidepressants amitriptyline and desipramine in rat models of acute, persistent, and neuropathic pain. In a rat model of neuropathic pain produced by tight ligation of the L(5)/L(6) spinal nerves, i.v. bolus injection of fenfluramine resulted in a dose-dependent and long-lasting (>4 h) blockade of mechanical allodynia (ED(50) = 3.5 mg/kg; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-5.4 mg/kg) and cold allodynia (ED(50) = 2.4 mg/kg; 95% confidence range, 1.2-4.6 mg/kg). Fenfluramine also prevented tonic pain evoked by the s.c. injection of dilute (5%) formaldehyde solution (formalin), into the dorsal hindpaw. The i.v. administration of amitriptyline (4.7 mg/kg) or desipramine (13.5 mg/kg) at maximum tolerated doses did not block either allodynia in rats with spinal nerve ligation-induced painful neuropathy or tonic pain in the formalin test. Fenfluramine had differential effects on acute behavioral responses to noxious thermal (heat), chemical (5% formaldehyde solution), and mechanical stimuli; it completely inhibited nociceptive behavior in the acute phase of the formaldehyde solution test and partially inhibited licking and jumping responses in the hot-plate test but did not alter nociceptive thresholds in either the paw pressure test or the tail immersion test. Intracerebroventricular bolus injection of 240 microg of fenfluramine significantly increased mechanical allodynia thresholds; however, the same dose administered spinally by intrathecal bolus injection was ineffective. The inhibitory effects of fenfluramine on mechanical allodynia (and tonic pain behavior in the formaldehyde solution test) were prevented by pretreatment with 10 mg/kg metergoline, a selective antagonist of 5-HT receptors, but not with the mu-opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. These results suggest that fenfluramine produces analgesia in the formaldehyde solution test and the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain by potentiating, at least in part, supraspinal 5-HT mediated processes. (+info)
Serotonin sets the day state in the neurons that control coupling between the optic lobe circadian pacemakers in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus.
The bilaterally paired optic lobe circadian pacemakers of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus mutually exchange photic and circadian information to keep their activity synchronized. The information is mediated by a neural pathway, consisting of the so-called medulla bilateral neurons, connecting the medulla areas of the two optic lobes. We investigated the effects of serotonin on the neural activity in this coupling pathway. Spontaneous and light-induced electrical activity of the neurons in the coupling pathway showed daily variations, being more intense during the night than the day. Microinjection of serotonin or a serotonin-receptor agonist, quipazine, into the optic lobe caused a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of spontaneous and light-induced responses, mimicking the day state. The amount of suppression was greater and the recovery from the suppression occurred faster during the night. Application of metergoline, a non-selective serotonin-receptor antagonist, increased spontaneous activity and light-evoked responses during both the day and the night, with higher effect during the day. In addition, metergoline effectively attenuated the effects of serotonin. These facts suggest that in the cricket's optic lobe, serotonin is released during the daytime and sets the day state in the neurons regulating coupling between the bilaterally paired optic lobe circadian pacemakers. (+info)
Serotonergic activation rescues reproductive function in fasted mice: does serotonin mediate the metabolic effects of leptin on reproduction?
Negative energy balance inhibits reproduction by restraining GnRH secretion. Leptin is a permissive metabolic signal for reproduction, but GnRH neurons do not appear to express leptin receptors, suggesting that interneurons transmit leptin signals to these cells. Serotonin (5HT) has satiety effects similar to those of leptin and alters LH release, and serotonergic neurons, which have been shown to express leptin receptors, terminate on GnRH neurons. We hypothesized that serotonergic neurons convey leptin signals to the reproductive neuroendocrine axis. To test this, mice were fasted for 48 h beginning on Diestrous Day 1. While fasting, mice received saline or leptin every 12 h or the 5HT-selective reuptake-inhibitor fluoxetine once at the start of the fast. Estrous cycles of fasted mice were longer (mean +/- SEM, 10.2 +/- 0.5 days; P < 0.0001) than those of fed mice (4.5 +/- 0.2 days). As previously reported, leptin prevented fasting-induced cycle lengthening (4.6 +/- 0.7 days). Fluoxetine also rescued estrous cycles in fasted mice (4.7 +/- 0.6 days), suggesting that 5HT and leptin have similar positive effects on reproduction. Coadministration of the 5HT 1/2/7 receptor-antagonist metergoline blocked rescue of cycle length by fluoxetine and by leptin. Treating leptin-deficient ob/ob and leptin receptor-deficient db/db mice with fluoxetine did not normalize body weight or rescue fertility, perhaps due to altered serotonergic tone in these animals. Together, these data demonstrate a permissive role for serotonergic systems in the metabolic control of reproduction and are consistent with the hypothesis that serotonergic neurons convey leptin signals to GnRH neurons. (+info)
Prophylaxis of early preneoplastic lesions of the mammary gland.
Daily treatment (for 12 to 14 months) of 2-month-old nulliparous or 8-month-old multiparous C3H/HeJ mice with 0.1 mg of 2-bromo-alpha-ergocryptine (CB-154) or 6-methyl-8-beta-ergoline-acetonitrile, efficacious inhibitors of prolactin secretion, markedly reduced the incidence of spontaneous mammary hyperplastic nodules and mammary tumors. CB-154 appeared to be more effective than 6-methyl-8-beta-ergoline-acetonitrile in suppressing the incidence of mammary tumors; the ergot virtually prevented the appearance of mammary tumors in nulliparous mice. Daily treatment of 5-month-old estrogen-treated, ovariectomized-hysterectomized C3H/HeJ mice for 12 months with CB-154 also significantly reduced the incidence of hyperplastic nodules and mammary tumors when compared with ovariectomized-hysterectomized mice treated with steroid alone. Daily treatment of multiparous C3H/HeJ mammary tumor-bearing mice with CB-154 or 6-methyl-8-beta-ergoline-acetonitrile generally failed, however, to promote regression of the mammary tumors. Thus significant prophylaxis of early preneoplastic lesions by drug-induced hormone (prolactin) suppression, resulting in a marked reduction in mammary tumor incidence, has been demonstrated in this study. (+info)
Serotonin regulates rhythmic whisking.
Many rodents explore their environment by rhythmically palpating objects with their mystacial whiskers. These rhythmic whisker movements ("whisking"; 5-9 Hz) are thought to be regulated by an unknown brainstem central pattern generator (CPG). We tested the hypothesis that serotonin (5-HT) inputs to whisking facial motoneurons (wFMNs) are part of this CPG. In response to exogenous serotonin, wFMNs recorded in vitro fire rhythmically at whisking frequencies, and selective 5-HT2 or 5-HT3 receptor antagonists suppress this rhythmic firing. In vivo, stimulation of brainstem serotonergic raphe nuclei evokes whisker movements. Unilateral infusion of selective 5-HT2 or 5-HT3 receptor antagonists suppresses ipsilateral whisking and substantially alters the frequencies and symmetry of whisker movements. These findings suggest that serotonin is both necessary and sufficient to generate rhythmic whisker movements and that serotonergic premotoneurons are part of a whisking CPG. (+info)
Midbrain raphe modulation of nonphotic circadian clock resetting and 5-HT release in the mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus.
Serotonin (5-HT) is an important regulator of the mammalian circadian clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN); however, critical questions remain concerning the control of serotonergic activity in the SCN and how this relates to the putative clock-resetting actions of 5-HT. Previously, we reported that electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) or median raphe nucleus (MRN) in hamsters evoked 5-HT release in the SCN. This DRN-stimulated 5-HT release was blocked by systemic injection of 5-HT antagonists, indicating a 5-HT receptor-mediated pathway from the DRN to the SCN. In the present study, targeted injections of the 5-HT1,2,7 antagonist metergoline or the selective 5-HT7 antagonist DR4004 into the DRN or MRN attenuated DRN-electrically stimulated SCN 5-HT release, supporting a multisynaptic DRN-->MRN-->SCN route. Intra-DRN and intra-MRN injections of the GABA(A) antagonist bicuculline significantly stimulated SCN 5-HT release, whereas intra-DRN or intra-MRN injections of the GABAA agonist muscimol suppressed this release. The 5-HT release induced by intra-DRN bicuculline was also blocked by co-injection of DR4004. In complementary behavioral trials, SCN 5-HT release associated with a phase-advancing sleep deprivation stimulus at midday was prevented by intra-DRN injection of metergoline. Also, phase-advance shifts induced by novel wheel access at midday were suppressed, but not blocked, by intra-DRN injection of DR4004 or muscimol. These results indicate that 5-HT7 and GABAergic receptors of the DRN and MRN regulate behaviorally induced 5-HT release in the SCN, and that DRN output modulates nonphotic phase-resetting responses. (+info)
Serotonin antagonist-induced lowering of prolactin secretion does not affect the pattern of pulsatile secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone in the bitch.
Dopamine agonists decrease plasma prolactin concentration and shorten the duration of anoestrus in the bitch. In order to determine whether this shortening results from decreased prolactin release or is due to another dopamine agonistic effect on the pulsatile release of FSH and LH, eight anoestrous beagle bitches were treated with a low dose of the serotonin antagonist metergoline (0.1 mg per kg body weight, twice daily) starting 100 days after ovulation. Six-hour plasma profiles of LH and FSH were obtained 7 days before, immediately before, 1 week after, and then at 2-week intervals after the start of the treatment with the serotonin antagonist until signs of pro-oestrus appeared. Plasma prolactin concentration was measured three times weekly from 75 to 142 days after ovulation and thereafter once weekly until the next ovulation, and was observed to decrease significantly after the start of treatment. The length of the interoestrous interval in the treated dogs was, however, not different from that in the preceding pretreatment cycle or from that in a group of untreated bitches. During the first weeks of treatment no changes were observed in the pulsatile plasma profiles of FSH and LH. Four weeks after the start of the treatment with the serotonin antagonist there was an increase in the mean basal plasma FSH concentration and the mean area under the curve for FSH, without a concurrent increase in LH secretion. The increase in FSH secretion continued until late anoestrus. In conclusion, the serotonin antagonist-induced lowering of plasma prolactin concentration was not associated with shortening of the interoestrous interval. The plasma profiles of LH and FSH were similar to those observed during physiological anoestrus, but different from those observed during anoestrus shortened by treatment with a dopamine agonist. Hence the prematurely induced oestrus observed during administration of dopamine agonists cannot be explained by a decreased plasma prolactin concentration but must be due to some other dopamine agonistic effect, probably increased FSH secretion. The observations in this study further strengthen the hypothesis that an increase in circulating FSH is essential for ovarian folliculogenesis and consequently the termination of anoestrus in the bitch. (+info)