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Neuron. 2005 Apr 7;46(1):65-74.

Corelease of dopamine and serotonin from striatal dopamine terminals.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The striatum receives rich dopaminergic and more moderate serotonergic innervation. After vesicular release, dopamine and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) signaling is controlled by transporter-mediated reuptake. Dopamine is taken up by dopamine transporters (DATs), which are expressed at the highest density in the striatum. Although DATs also display a low affinity for 5-HT, that neurotransmitter is normally efficiently taken up by the 5-HT transporters. We found that when extracellular 5-HT is elevated by exogenous application or by using antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine) to inhibit the 5-HT transporters, the extremely dense striatal DATs uptake 5-HT into dopamine terminals. Immunohistochemical results and measurements using fast cyclic voltammetry showed that elevated 5-HT is taken up by DATs into striatal dopamine terminals that subsequently release 5-HT and dopamine together. These results suggest that antidepressants that block serotonin transporters or other factors that elevate extracellular 5-HT alter the temporal and spatial relationship between dopamine and 5-HT signaling in the striatum.

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