Hippocampal 8-[3H]hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin binding site densities, serotonin receptor (5-HT1A) messenger ribonucleic acid abundance, and serotonin levels parallel the activity of the hypothalamopituitary-adrenal axis in rat.
Burnet PW., Mefford IN., Smith CC., Gold PW., Sternberg EM.
We have previously demonstrated that susceptibility of the Lewis rat to inflammatory disease, compared with the relatively resistant Fischer F344/N rat, is related to a hyporesponsive hypothalamopituitary-adrenal axis to inflammatory and other stress mediators. Because serotonin (5-HT) and the 5-HT1A receptor are important stimulators of this axis, we have investigated the levels of 8-[3H]-hydroxy-2,3-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin binding sites, 5-HT1A mRNA, 5-HT, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in various brain regions of Lewis, outbred Harlan Sprague Dawley, and Fischer F344/N rats. Lewis rats expressed significantly fewer hippocampal and frontal cortical 8-[3H]-hydroxy-2,3-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin binding sites and less 5-HT1A mRNA than Harlan Sprague Dawley and Fischer F344/N rats. Adrenalectomy increased the number of 8-[3H]hydroxy-2,3-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin binding sites and 5-HT1A mRNA expression in the hippocampus of all three strains. Levels of hippocampal 5-HT in Fischer F344/N rats were significantly greater than levels detected in the same regions from Lewis and Harlan Sprague Dawley rats. Hypothalamic 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels in Harlan Sprague Dawley rats were higher than the same area from the other two strains. Adrenalectomy increased the levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in the hypothalamus of all three strains. We conclude that hippocampal 5-HT1A receptor densities and 5-HT levels in the rat parallel the activity and responsiveness of the hypothalamopituitary-adrenal axis.