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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1996 Jul;39(1-2):223-33.

Comparative anatomical distribution of serotonin 1A, 1D alpha and 2A receptor mRNAs in human brain postmortem.

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Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica, Università di Pisa, Italy.


The distribution of messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNA) for serotonin (5-HT) receptors of 1A, 2A and 1D alpha type (5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, and 5-HT1D alpha) was examined and compared in autoptic human brain by means of in-situ hybridization using cRNA probes, in those areas with the highest density of the receptors, as observed with binding techniques. The results showed that the 5-HT1A receptor mRNA was abundantly expressed in the layers II-VI of all cortical areas under examination, but the highest expression was found in the hippocampus, particularly in the granular cells of the dentate gyrus and in the pyramidal cell layer of the Hammon's horn. The 5-HT2A receptor mRNA was mainly present in the layers III-V of the cortex, with regional differences which were particularly marked in the striate area where the layer IV was specifically labeled. On the other hand, in the hippocampus, 5-HT2A receptor mRNA was restricted to the pyramidal cell layer of the CA1 field of the Hammon's horn. No expression of both 5-HT2A and 5-HT1D alpha receptors was detected in the caudate nucleus and in putamen where only a light labeling by means of the 5-HT1A receptor probe was detected. The 5-HT1D alpha receptor mRNA was found only in the CA3 field of the Hammon's horn. These findings confirm that 5-HT receptors are widely distributed in the brain, but that the different subtypes possess a selective localization in different neuronal populations which, in turn, may express one or more receptors. The regional differences may represent the anatomical substrate of different serotonergic functions and dysfunctions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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