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Brain Res. 2007 Nov 21;1181:21-9. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Activation of the serotonin 1A receptor alters the temporal characteristics of auditory responses in the inferior colliculus.

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Biology Department, Indiana University, 1001 E. Third St. Jordan Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Serotonin, like other neuromodulators, acts on a range of receptor types, but its effects also depend on the functional characteristics of the neurons responding to receptor activation. In the inferior colliculus (IC), an auditory midbrain nucleus, activation of a common serotonin (5-HT) receptor type, the 5-HT 1A receptor, depresses auditory-evoked responses in many neurons. Whether these effects occur differentially in different types of neurons is unknown. In the current study, the effects of iontophoretic application of the 5-HT 1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT on auditory responses were compared with the characteristic frequencies (CFs), recording depths, and control first-spike latencies of the same group of IC neurons. The 8-OH-DPAT-evoked change in response significantly correlated with first-spike latency across the population, so that response depressions were more prevalent in longer-latency neurons. The 8-OH-DPAT-evoked change in response did not correlate with CF or with recording depth. 8-OH-DPAT also altered the temporal characteristics of spike trains in a subset of neurons that fired multiple spikes in response to brief stimuli. For these neurons, activation of the 5-HT 1A receptor suppressed lagging spikes proportionally more than initial spikes. These results suggest that the 5-HT 1A receptor, by affecting the timing of the responses of both individual neurons and the neuron population, shifts the temporal profile of evoked activity within the IC.

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