Effects of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine on serotonin1 and serotonin2 receptors throughout the rat central nervous system using quantitative autoradiography

Brain Res. 1987 Sep 22;421(1-2):263-79. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(87)91296-0.


The effects of the serotonin neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT), on serotonin1 (5-HT1) and 5-HT2 receptors were investigated using the high degree of resolution provided by quantitative autoradiography in an effort to determine the synaptic location of these receptors. 5,7-DHT treatment resulted in a decrease in 5-HT1 binding in the dentate gyrus and CA3c/4 of the anterior hippocampus and in the dorsal raphe nucleus, whereas no changes were observed in the posterior hippocampus nor in many other brain structures. 5-HT2 receptors exhibited no changes in any brain area examined in response to 5,7-DHT treatment, despite over 90% serotonin depletion in most of the forebrain nuclei examined. The results indicate that at least some of the 5-HT1 sites labelled by [3H]5-HT in the hippocampus and dorsal raphe nucleus are presynaptic, whereas 5-HT2 receptors are probably postsynaptic. In addition, the distribution profiles of 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 binding sites were compared in the rat central nervous system at various anatomical levels. 5-HT1 binding sites were identified using [3H]5-HT, while 5-HT2 binding sites were labelled with [3H]ketanserin. Both receptor subtypes displayed distinctly different localization patterns, which, in most cases was the inverse of the other pattern. In the brainstem it is significant that 5-HT2 receptors are concentrated in the facial nucleus and the motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, areas known to influence head and facial movement. The serotonin-mediated head-shake response occurs when 5-HT2 receptors are activated. In contrast, 5-HT1 receptors are distributed throughout the brainstem and in specific portions of the spinal cord. These areas are thought to control the serotonin behavioral syndrome and this behavior is 5-HT1A-mediated. All raphe nuclei were devoid of 5-HT2 receptors; only 5-HT1 receptor were found in these nuclei. Correlations with serotonin terminal distribution patterns are discussed. The pattern of 5-HT2 receptor distribution was also compared with the pattern of alpha 1 receptors, using [3H]prazosin in order to determine whether [3H]ketanserin significantly labels alpha 1 receptors. Although some similarities exist, overlap of binding did not occur in other nuclei, indicating that alpha 1 contamination of this system is probably negligible.

MeSH terms

  • 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Catecholamines / metabolism
  • Dihydroxytryptamines / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ketanserin / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Serotonin / classification
  • Receptors, Serotonin / drug effects*
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*


  • Catecholamines
  • Dihydroxytryptamines
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine
  • Serotonin
  • Ketanserin