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[Role of brain 5-HT7 receptors as a functional molecule involved in the development of stress adaptation].

[Article in Japanese]

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Division of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, International University of Health and Welfare, 2600-1 Kita-kanemaru, Otawara, 324-8501 Japan.


A growing body of evidence suggests that the brain serotonin (5-HT) nervous system is an important component related to the etiology as well as the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders. Molecular cloning studies have revealed the existence of 14 different genes, each encoding a distinct 5-HT receptor subtype. The 5-HT7 receptor is the most recently identified member of the 5-HT receptor subtypes, and the physiological role of this receptor is still unknown. Recently, either selective agonists or antagonists for 5-HT7 receptors, as well as 5-HT7 receptor knockout mice, have been developed, and these have recently been used as the experimental tools for determining the actual function of 5-HT7 receptors. The first half of the present article introduces the reports that have examined the role of the 5-HT7 receptor on emotional regulation. On the other hand, it has been indicated that the ability to adapt to stress is an important defensive function of a living body, and impairment of this ability may contribute to some stress-related disorders. Thus, the examination of brain mechanisms involved in stress adaptation could help to pave the way for new therapeutic strategies for stress-related psychiatric disorders. The second half of the present article introduces our recent studies focusing on the relationship between brain 5-HT7 receptors and the mechanisms of stress adaptation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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