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Neuroendocrinology. 2001 Aug;74(2):135-42.

Serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor mRNA expression in dorsal hippocampus and raphe nuclei after gonadal hormone manipulation in female rats.

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Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.


Female ovarian steroids influence mood and cognition, an effect presumably mediated by the serotonergic system. A key receptor in this interplay may be the 5-HT(1A) receptor subtype. We gave adult ovariectomized female rats subcutaneous pellets containing different dosages of 17 beta-estradiol alone or in combination with progesterone, or placebo pellets, for 2 weeks. 5-HT(1A) receptor mRNA levels were analyzed by in situ hybridization in the dorsal hippocampus, dorsal and median raphe nuclei, and entorhinal cortex. Estradiol treatment alone reduced 5-HT(1A) gene expression in the dentate gyrus and the CA2 region (17 and 19% decrease, respectively). Estradiol combined with progesterone supplementation increased 5-HT(1A) gene expression versus placebo in the CA1 and CA2 subregions of the dorsal hippocampus (16 and 30% increase, respectively). Concomitantly, 5-HT(1A) mRNA expression was decreased by 13% in the ventrolateral part of the dorsal raphe nuclei, while no changes were found in the median raphe nucleus and entorhinal cortex. Chronic effects of ovarian hormones on 5-HT(1A) receptor mRNA expression appear tissue-specific and involve hippocampal subregions and the raphe nuclei. Modulation of 5-HT(1A) receptor gene expression may be of importance for gonadal steroid effects on mood and cognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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