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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.


Journal article


J Neurochem

Publication Date





1062 - 1070


8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin, Adrenalectomy, Animals, Binding Sites, Female, Hippocampus, Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System, Pituitary-Adrenal System, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Inbred F344, Rats, Inbred Lew, Rats, Inbred Strains, Receptors, Serotonin, Serotonin, Tetrahydronaphthalenes