Physiological properties of raphe magnus neurons during sleep and waking.
Neurons in the medullary raphe magnus (RM) that are important in the descending modulation of nociceptive transmission are classified by their response to noxious tail heat as ON, OFF, or NEUTRAL cells. Experiments in anesthetized animals demonstrate that RM ON cells facilitate and OFF cells inhibit nociceptive transmission. Yet little is known of the physiology of these cells in the unanesthetized animal. The first aim of the present experiments was to determine whether cells with ON- and OFF-like responses to noxious heat exist in the unanesthetized rat. Second, to determine if RM cells have state-dependent discharge, the activity of RM neurons was recorded during waking and sleeping states. Noxious heat applied during waking and slow wave sleep excited one group of cells (ON-U) in unanesthetized rats. Other cells were inhibited by noxious heat (OFF-U) applied during waking and slow wave sleep states in unanesthetized rats. NEUTRAL-U cells did not respond to noxious thermal stimulation applied during either slow wave sleep or waking. ON-U and OFF-U cells were more likely to respond to noxious heat during slow wave sleep than during waking and were least likely to respond when the animal was eating or drinking. Although RM cells rarely respond to innocuous stimulation applied during anesthesia, ON-U and OFF-U cells were excited and inhibited, respectively, by innocuous somatosensory stimulation in the unanesthetized rat. The spontaneous activity of >90% of the RM neurons recorded in the unanesthetized rat was influenced by behavioral state. OFF-U cells discharged sporadically during waking but were continuously active during slow wave sleep. By contrast, ON-U and NEUTRAL-U cells discharged in bursts during waking and either ceased to discharge entirely or discharged at a low rate during slow wave sleep. We suggest that OFF cell discharge functions to suppress pain-evoked reactions during sleep, whereas ON cell discharge facilitates pain-evoked responses during waking. (+info)
Electrophysiological examination of the effects of sustained flibanserin administration on serotonin receptors in rat brain.
5-HT1A receptor agonists have proven to be effective antidepressant medications, however they suffer from a significant therapeutic lag before depressive symptoms abate. Flibanserin is a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and 5-HT2A receptor antagonist developed to possibly induce a more rapid onset of antidepressant action through its preferential postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptor agonism. Flibanserin antagonized the effect of microiontophoretically-applied DOI in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) following 2 days of administration, indicating antagonism of postsynaptic 5-HT2A receptors. This reduction in the effect of locally-applied DOI was no longer present following 7-day flibanserin administration. Two-day flibanserin administration only marginally reduced the firing activity of dorsal raphe (DRN) 5-HT neurons. Following 7 days of administration, 5-HT neuronal firing activity had returned to normal and the somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors were desensitized. The responsiveness of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors located on CA3 hippocampus pyramidal neurons and mPFC neurons, examined using microiontophoretically-applied 5-HT and gepirone, was unchanged following a 7-day flibanserin treatment. As demonstrated by the ability of the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY 100635 to selectively increase the firing of hippocampal neurons in 2- and 7-day treated rats, flibanserin enhanced the tonic activation of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors in this brain region. The results suggest that flibanserin could be a therapeutically useful compound putatively endowed with a more rapid onset of antidepressant action. (+info)
RVLM and raphe differentially regulate sympathetic outflows to splanchnic and brown adipose tissue.
To determine whether neurons in the rostral raphe pallidus (RPa) specifically control the sympathetic nerve activity to brown adipose tissue (BAT SNA), thereby regulating adipocyte metabolism and BAT thermogenesis, the responses in BAT SNA to disinhibition of RPa neurons and to disinhibition of neurons in the vasomotor region of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) were compared with those in splanchnic (Spl) SNA, which primarily regulates visceral vasoconstriction. In urethan-chloralose-anesthetized ventilated rats, both acute hypothermia and microinjection of bicuculline into RPa produced significantly larger increases in BAT SNA (542 and 1,949% of control) than in Spl SNA (19 and 24% of control). The enhanced burst discharge in BAT SNA was not coherent with that in Spl SNA or with the arterial pressure (AP) at any frequency except the central respiratory frequency. Microinjections of bicuculline into RVLM evoked increases in Spl SNA (86% of control) and AP (32 mmHg), but reduced BAT SNA to low, normothermic levels. Microinjections of muscimol into RVLM reduced Spl SNA (-82% of control) and AP (-59 mmHg), but did not prevent the increase in BAT SNA after disinhibition of RPa neurons. These results indicate that the neural networks generating BAT SNA in response to disinhibition of RPa neurons are independent of those generating basal Spl SNA and support a model in which sympathetic outflow to tissues involved in thermoregulation and metabolism is regulated by central pathways, including neurons in RPa, that are distinct from those involved in the sympathetic control of the cardiovascular system. (+info)
Midline medullary depressor responses are mediated by inhibition of RVLM sympathoexcitatory neurons in rats.
Mechanisms underlying the depressor and sympathoinhibitory responses evoked from the caudal medullary raphe (MR) region were investigated in pentobarbital sodium-anesthetized, paralyzed rats. Intermittent electrical stimulation (0.5 Hz, 0.5-ms pulses, 200 microA) of the MR elicited a mixed sympathetic response that consisted of a long-latency sympathoexcitatory (SE) peak (onset = 146 +/- 7 ms) superimposed on an inhibitory phase (onset = 59 +/- 10 ms). Chemical stimulation of the MR (glutamate; Glu) most frequently elicited depressor responses accompanied by inhibition of sympathetic nerve discharge. Occasionally, these responses were preceded by transient pressor and SE responses. We examined the influence of intermittent electrical stimulation (0.5 Hz, 0.5-ms pulses, 25-200 microA) and Glu stimulation of the MR on the discharge of rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) premotor SE neurons. Peristimulus-time histograms of RVLM unit discharge featured a prominent inhibitory phase in response to MR stimulation (onset = 20 +/- 2 ms; duration = 42 +/- 4 ms; n = 12 units). Glu stimulation of the MR reduced blood pressure (-37 +/- 2 mmHg, n = 19) and inhibited the discharge of RVLM SE neurons (15 of 19 neurons). Depressor and sympathoinhibitory responses elicited by chemical and electrical stimulation of the MR region are mediated by inhibition of RVLM premotor SE neurons and withdrawal of sympathetic vasomotor discharge. (+info)
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)
Hippocampal EEG and unit activity responses to modulation of serotonergic median raphe neurons in the freely behaving rat.
Hippocampal EEG, GABAergic interneurons, and principal cells were recorded simultaneously as rats foraged within one of three environments both before and after modulation of serotonergic inputs to the hippocampus. Median raphe microinjections of the 5-HT1a receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT were made to produce inhibition of serotonergic neurons in this region. Such microinjections produced behavioral arousal and increases in the amplitude of hippocampal EEG theta. Consistent with the pattern of serotonergic innervation of the hippocampus, the GABAergic interneuron population was affected differentially by the microinjections. Principal cells were generally unaffected by the manipulation and maintained robust spatial firing correlates within the foraging environment. The results provide basic data on the relationship between serotonergic median raphe neurons and hippocampal activity in a behaving animal. The data suggest that behavioral responses to manipulation of the serotonergic system are mediated by brain regions other than the hippocampus or are mediated through changes in the activity of hippocampal interneurons. (+info)
Altered serotonin innervation patterns in the forebrain of monkeys treated with (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine seven years previously: factors influencing abnormal recovery.
The recreational drug (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is a potent and selective brain serotonin (5-HT) neurotoxin in animals and, possibly, in humans. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether brain 5-HT deficits persist in squirrel monkeys beyond the 18-month period studied previously and to identify factors that influence recovery of injured 5-HT axons. Seven years after treatment, abnormal brain 5-HT innervation patterns were still evident in MDMA-treated monkeys, although 5-HT deficits in some regions were less severe than those observed at 18 months. No loss of 5-HT nerve cell bodies in the rostral raphe nuclei was found, indicating that abnormal innervation patterns in MDMA-treated monkeys are not the result of loss of a particular 5-HT nerve cell group. Factors that influence recovery of 5-HT axons after MDMA injury are (1) the distance of the affected axon terminal field from the rostral raphe nuclei, (2) the degree of initial 5-HT axonal injury, and possibly (3) the proximity of damaged 5-HT axons to myelinated fiber tracts. Additional studies are needed to better understand these and other factors that influence the response of primate 5-HT neurons to MDMA injury and to determine whether the present findings generalize to humans who use MDMA for recreational purposes. (+info)
GATA-3 is involved in the development of serotonergic neurons in the caudal raphe nuclei.
The GATA-3 transcription factor shows a specific and restricted expression pattern in the developing and adult mouse brain. In the present study we investigated the role of GATA-3 in the caudal raphe system, which is known to operate as a modulator of motor activity. We demonstrate that virtually all neurons in the caudal raphe nuclei that express GATA-3 also produce serotonin. Absence of GATA-3, as analyzed in chimeric -/- mice, affects the cytoarchitecture of serotonergic neurons in the caudal raphe nuclei. As a result the chimeras show a serious defect in their locomotor performance on a rotating rod. In sum, we conclude that GATA-3 plays a major role in the development of the serotonergic neurons of the caudal raphe nuclei, and that it is crucial for their role in locomotion. (+info)