In vivo regulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK3beta) by serotonergic activity in mouse brain

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Aug;29(8):1426-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300439.


The goal of this study was to determine if serotonergic activity, which is impaired in depression, regulates the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK3beta) in mouse brain in vivo. GSK3beta is inhibited by phosphorylation on serine-9 and is a target of the mood stabilizer lithium. Following administration to mice of d-fenfluramine to stimulate serotonin (5HT) release and reduce its reuptake, and clorgyline to inhibit 5HT catabolism, levels of phospho-Ser9-GSK3beta were 300-400% of control levels in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. Treatment with monoamine reuptake inhibitors fluoxetine and imipramine also increased the level of phospho-Ser9-GSK3beta. Using receptor selective agonists and antagonists, 5HT1A receptors were found to mediate increases, and 5HT2 receptors decreases, in phospho-Ser9-GSK3beta levels. This indicates that serotonergic regulation of the phosphorylation of GSK3beta is achieved by a balance between the opposing actions of these 5HT receptor subtypes. These findings demonstrate for the first time that serotonergic activity regulates the phosphorylation of GSK3beta and show that this regulation occurs in mammalian brain in vivo. These results raise the possibility that impaired inhibitory control of GSK3beta may occur in conditions where serotonergic activity is dysregulated, such as in mood disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Hippocampus / enzymology
  • Immunoblotting
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neostriatum / enzymology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Prefrontal Cortex / enzymology
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT2 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT2 / metabolism
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Serotonin / physiology*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology


  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT2
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Gsk3b protein, mouse
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3