Synaptic glutamate release by postnatal rat serotonergic neurons in microculture

Neuron. 1994 Feb;12(2):433-42. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(94)90283-6.


Serotonergic neurons are thought to play a role in depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, their functional transmitter repertoire is incompletely known. To investigate this repertoire, intracellular recordings were obtained from 132 cytochemically identified rat mesopontine serotonergic neurons that had re-established synapses in microcultures. Approximately 60% of the neurons evoked excitatory glutamatergic potentials in themselves or in target neurons. Glutamatergic transmission was frequently observed in microcultures containing a solitary serotonergic neuron. Evidence for co-release of serotonin and glutamate from single raphe neurons was also obtained. However, evidence for gamma-aminobutyric acid release by serotonergic neurons was observed in only two cases. These findings indicate that many cultured serotonergic neurons form glutamatergic synapses and may explain several observations in slices and in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glutamates / metabolism*
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Glutamates
  • Serotonin
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid