Dissociable roles for the dorsal and median raphé in the facilitatory effect of 5-HT1A receptor stimulation upon cocaine-induced locomotion and sensitization

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Sep;29(9):1675-87. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300473.


A distinct role for serotonin transmission from the dorsal and median raphé nuclei (DRN and MRN, respectively) was identified in regulating the behavioral and neurochemical effects of acute and repeated cocaine administration. Serotonin 1A (5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HT)1A) receptors were stimulated by intraraphé microinjection of 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (DPAT; 5 or 10 microg) and behavior, as well as extracellular neurotransmitter content in the nucleus accumbens was measured. Pretreatment of the DRN with DPAT caused a sensitization-like potentiation of acute cocaine-induced motor activity and an elevation in extracellular dopamine and glutamate. In contrast, DPAT microinjection into the MRN did not alter acute cocaine-induced motor activity or extracellular levels of dopamine or glutamate. Acutely, DPAT microinjection into either raphé nucleus reduced the basal and acute cocaine-stimulated levels of extracellular serotonin. Pretreatment with DPAT before systemic cocaine administration was continued for 5 days, and 3 weeks after the last injection, all rats were administered a cocaine challenge injection. The sensitized behavioral and neurochemical response produced by repeated cocaine in control subjects was unaffected by the intra-DRN administration of DPAT. However, in animals administered DPAT into the MRN, both the sensitized motor response and the increase in glutamate were augmented, while the sensitized serotonin response was blocked, without altering dopamine sensitization. These data show a differential role for 5-HT1A receptors in the DRN and MRN in the acute and sensitized effects of cocaine. While the DRN is involved in the acute effects of cocaine, neuroadaptations in the MRN may regulate the long-term consequences of repeated cocaine exposure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin / administration & dosage
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • Microinjections
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism
  • Raphe Nuclei / metabolism
  • Raphe Nuclei / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A / drug effects*
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*


  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A
  • Serotonin
  • Glutamic Acid
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine