Serotonin 5-HT(2C) receptors regulate anxiety-like behavior

Genes Brain Behav. 2007 Jul;6(5):491-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2007.00316.x. Epub 2007 Apr 19.


Central serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) systems have been implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of anxiety disorders, which are among the world's most prevalent psychiatric conditions. Here, we report that the 5-HT(2C) receptor (5-HT(2C)R) subtype is critically involved in regulating behaviors characteristic of anxiety using male 5-HT(2C)R knockout (KO) mice. Specific neural substrates underlying the 5-HT(2C)R KO anxiolytic phenotype were investigated, and we report that 5-HT(2C)R KO mice display a selective blunting of extended amygdala corticotropin-releasing hormone neuronal activation in response to anxiety stimuli. These findings illustrate a mechanism through which 5-HT(2C)Rs affect anxiety-related behavior and provide insight into the neural circuitry mediating the complex psychological process of anxiety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / cytology
  • Amygdala / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / metabolism*
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Activity / genetics
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C / genetics
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C / metabolism*


  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone