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J Chem Neuroanat. 2011 Jul;41(4):234-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 May 8.

Regulation of dorsal raphe nucleus function by serotonin autoreceptors: a behavioral perspective.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


Neurotransmission by serotonin (5-HT) is tightly regulated by several autoreceptors that fine-tune serotonergic neurotransmission through negative feedback inhibition at the cell bodies (predominantly 5-HT(1A)) or at the axon terminals (predominantly 5-HT(1B)); however, more subtle roles for 5-HT(1D) and 5-HT(2B) autoreceptors have also been detected. This review provides an overview of 5-HT autoreceptors, focusing on their contribution in animal behavioral models of stress and emotion. Experiments targeting 5-HT autoreceptors in awake, behaving animals have generally shown that increasing autoreceptor feedback is anxiolytic and rewarding, while enhanced 5-HT function is aversive and anxiogenic; however, the role of serotonergic activity in behavioral models of helplessness is more complex. The prevailing model suggests that 5-HT autoreceptors become desensitized in response to stress exposure and antidepressant administration, two seemingly opposite manipulations. Thus there are still unresolved questions regarding the role of these receptors-and serotonin in general-in normal and pathological states.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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