Regional distribution and cellular localization of 5-HT2C receptor mRNA in monkey brain: comparison with [3H]mesulergine binding sites and choline acetyltransferase mRNA

Synapse. 2001 Oct;42(1):12-26. doi: 10.1002/syn.1095.


The distribution of serotonin 5-HT(2C) receptor mRNA in monkey brain was studied by in situ hybridization and compared with the distribution of [3H]mesulergine binding sites as visualized by receptor autoradiography. 5-HT(2C) receptor transcripts showed a widespread and heterogeneous distribution. The strongest hybridization signal was detected in choroid plexus. In neocortex, 5-HT(2C) mRNA was detected in layer V of all cortical regions examined except in the calcarine sulcus, which was devoid of signal. Several structures within the striatum and basal forebrain were strongly labeled: nucleus accumbens, ventral aspects of anterior caudate and putamen, septal nuclei, diagonal band, ventral striatum, and extended amygdala. Several thalamic, midbrain, and brainstem nuclei also contained 5-HT(2C) mRNA. Comparison of the distributions of 5-HT(2C) mRNA and specific [3H]mesulergine binding sites showed a good agreement in the majority of brain regions, suggesting a predominant somatodendritic localization of 5-HT(2C) receptors. A possible localization to axon terminals of 5-HT(2C) receptors is suggested by the disagreement observed in some regions such as septal nuclei and horizontal limb of the diagonal band (presence of mRNA with apparent absence of binding sites) and interpeduncular nucleus (presence of binding sites with apparent absence of mRNA). Comparison of 5-HT(2C) receptor and choline acetyltransferase mRNA distributions indicate that some regions where cholinergic cells are located are also enriched in cells containing 5-HT(2C) mRNA. Although the present methodology does not allow strict colocalization of both mRNA species to the same cells, the codistribution observed in several regions provides a possible anatomical substrate for the described modulation of acetylcholine release by 5-HT(2C) receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites / physiology
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Ergolines / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / metabolism*


  • Ergolines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase
  • mesulergine