Postnatal changes in serotonin1 receptors following prenatal alterations in serotonin levels: further evidence for functional fetal serotonin1 receptors

Patricia M. Whitaker-Azmitia, Jean M. Lauder, Anne Shemmer, Efrain C. Azmitia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent work by ourselves and others has indicated that serotonin (5-HT) acts as a regulator of neuronal growth in fetal tissue, probably through an action on the high affinity 5-HT receptors known to be present. In order for our hypothesis to be correct, these receptors must be shown to be functional in fetal tissue. Furthermore, since 5-HT has a dual role in neuronal development, these receptors must be functional both in the region of the serotonergic cell body (brainstem) and in projection areas (forebrain). We have tested the functional status of fetal 5-HT receptors by testing their ability to adapt to changes in the level of 5-HT. Pregnant rats were treated with saline, p-chlorophenylalanine (a 5-HT depletor) or 5-methoxytryptamine (a 5-HT agonist) and the characteristics of the high affinity 5-HT receptors in the rat pups determined using a binding assay with [3H]5-HT. Our results show that both forebrain and brain stem receptors respond to alterations in transmitter level in a manner similar to adult brain. Thus, fetal 5-HT receptors are functional and capable of playing a role in neuronal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-289
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1987

Keywords

  • 5-Methoxytryptamine
  • Developmental signal
  • Fetal neurotransmitter
  • Serotonin
  • Serotonin receptor
  • p-Chlorophenylalanine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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