Stimulation of astroglial serotonin receptors produces culture media which regulates growth of serotonergic neurons

Patricia M. Whitaker-Azmitia, Efrain C. Azmitia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our work has been concerned with the role of high affinity serotonin receptors in regulating the development of the serotonergic system. In previous studies, we have found evidence that these receptors occur on astroglial cells and that their number is developmentally linked. The current work is aimed at investigating the mechanism by which these receptors may regulate serotonin neuronal growth. Primary cultures of astroglial cells were exposed to serotonin (5-HT) or the selective receptor agonists 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-D-PAT, for 5-HT1a receptors) or trifluoro-methyl-phenyl-piperazine (TFMPP) and m-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) (for 5-HT1b receptors). Media was collected after 4 or 24 h, and added to primary cultures of serotonergic neurons. Growth was determined by specific uptake of radiolabeled serotonin into the cultures. Our results show the presence of a factor(s) in the glial-conditioned media which can be stimulatory or toxic to serotonin neurons, depending on the neuronal plating density. This factor is significantly present after 24 h, is found in both brainstem and cortical astroglial-conditioned media and appears to be linked to the 5-HT1a receptor. Thus, it appears possible that the serotonergic neuronal system can regulate its own development through an action on astroglial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 11 1989


  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • Astroglial cell
  • Neuronal development
  • Serotonin
  • Serotonin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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