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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1994 Jan;113(3-4):481-6.

Time course of the effects of adrenalectomy and corticosterone replacement on 5-HT1A receptors and 5-HT uptake sites in the hippocampus and dorsal raphe nucleus of the rat brain: an autoradiographic analysis.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104.


Previous studies have shown that adrenalectomy (ADX) increases the binding of 3H-DPAT to 5-HT1A receptors in the hippocampus (HIP) and this effect is partially overcome by corticosterone (CORT) replacement. The present study investigated the time course of the effects of ADX with or without CORT replacement on serotonin (5-HT) pre- and postsynaptic systems in the HIP and dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) by quantitative autoradiography. In the HIP, ADX for 7, 10 or 14 days caused a significant increase in 3H-DPAT binding in the CA1 region (pyramidal layer), CA2,3 region (molecular and pyramidal layers) and in the dentate gyrus (molecular and granular layers) which returned to control levels when measurements were made 35 days post-ADX. A decrease in 3H-DPAT binding was observed 14 days after ADX in the DR but not in the median raphe nucleus (MR). Although replacement with CORT did not lead to a reversal in 3H-DPAT binding early time points, binding was restored to control levels 7-28 days after CORT replacement in all regions of the HIP. In the DR, CORT did not cause a reversal in 3H-DPAT binding at any of the time points examined. In contrast to the effects seen on the 5-HT1A receptor subtype, no significant change was noted on the binding of 3H-CN-IMI to uptake sites for 5-HT in the HIP or DR after ADX or CORT replacement. The results of this study indicate that long-term alterations in the HPA axis lead to changes in the 5-HT1A receptor system that are both region-specific and time-dependent.

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