Presynaptic partners of dorsal raphe serotonergic and GABAergic neurons

Neuron. 2014 Aug 6;83(3):645-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.06.024.


The serotonin system powerfully modulates physiology and behavior in health and disease, yet the circuit mechanisms underlying serotonin neuron activity are poorly understood. The major source of forebrain serotonergic innervation is from the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR), which contains both serotonin and GABA neurons. Using viral tracing combined with electrophysiology, we found that GABA and serotonin neurons in the DR receive excitatory, inhibitory, and peptidergic inputs from the same specific brain regions. Embedded in this overall similarity are important differences. Serotonin neurons are more likely to receive synaptic inputs from anterior neocortex while GABA neurons receive disproportionally higher input from the central amygdala. Local input mapping revealed extensive serotonin-serotonin as well as GABA-serotonin connectivity with a distinct spatial organization. Covariance analysis suggests heterogeneity of both serotonin and GABA neurons with respect to the inputs they receive. These analyses provide a foundation for further functional dissection of the serotonin system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dorsal Raphe Nucleus / metabolism*
  • GABAergic Neurons / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / pharmacology*


  • Serotonin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid