Serotonin 1A receptors in human and monkey prefrontal cortex are mainly expressed in pyramidal neurons and in a GABAergic interneuron subpopulation: implications for schizophrenia and its treatment

J Neurochem. 2008 Oct;107(2):488-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05649.x. Epub 2008 Sep 16.


Serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptors are found in high densities in prefrontal cortex. However, their distribution within cortical cell populations is unknown in both humans and primates. We used double in situ hybridization histochemistry to quantify the percentage of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons expressing 5-HT(1A) receptors in human and monkey prefrontal cortex. Moreover, in the case of the monkey, we also quantified the parvalbumin and calbindin GABAergic subpopulations expressing this receptor. 5-HT(1A) receptor mRNAs were expressed in about 80% of glutamatergic neurons in external layers II and upper III, and in around 50% in layer VI; they were also present in approximately 20% of GABAergic neurons in both species. Although they were found in up to 43% of the calbindin cell subpopulation they were rarely present in parvalbumin cells in monkey prefrontal cortex. The knowledge of the phenotype of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) cells expressing 5-HT(1A) will help understanding serotonin actions in PFC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Calbindins
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / metabolism*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Middle Aged
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A / genetics
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A / metabolism*
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 1 / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Calbindins
  • Parvalbumins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 1
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase