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Hippocampus. 2012 Apr;22(4):762-71. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20938. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

The 5-HT(7) receptor in learning and memory.

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Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The 5-HT(7) receptor is a more recently discovered G-protein-coupled receptor for serotonin. The functions and possible clinical relevance of this receptor are not yet fully understood. The present paper reviews to what extent the use of animal models of learning and memory and other techniques have implicated the 5-HT(7) receptor in such processes. The studies have used a combination of pharmacological and genetic tools targeting the receptor to evaluate effects on behavior and cellular mechanisms. In tests such as the Barnes maze, contextual fear conditioning and novel location recognition that involve spatial learning and memory there is a considerable amount of evidence supporting an involvement of the 5-HT(7) receptor. Supporting evidence has also been obtained in studies of mRNA expression and cellular signaling as well as in electrophysiological experiments. Especially interesting are the subtle but distinct effects observed in hippocampus-dependent models of place learning where impairments have been described in mice lacking the 5-HT(7) receptor or after administration of a selective antagonist. While more work is required, it appears that 5-HT(7) receptors are particularly important in allocentric representation processes. In instrumental learning tasks both procognitive effects and impairments in memory have been observed using pharmacological tools targeting the 5-HT(7) receptor. In conclusion, the use of pharmacological and genetic tools in animal studies of learning and memory suggest a potentially important role for the 5-HT(7) receptor in cognitive processes.

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