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Brain Res. 1976 Aug 20;113(1):45-57.

Evidence for the existence of a raphe projection to the substantia nigra in rat.


The effect of electrical stimulation of the median raphe nucleus on the activity of spontaneously firing single neurones in the substantia nigra and mesencephalic reticular formation (MRF) has been investigated in urethane anaesthetized rats. Depression of activity was the predominant effect observed although this was sometimes accompanied by periods of excitation. Some neurones were only excited. The latency of inhibition of substantia nigra neurones was constant whereas that of MRF neurones was more variable. Microiontophoretically applied 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) produced mainly inhibition of neuronal activity, but excitation and biphasic effects were also seen. There was a good correlation between the direction of neuronal responses in the substantia nigra to median raphe stimulation and to the effects of 5-HT but not DA. Discrete electrolytic lesions of the median raphe nucleus were followed by a decrease in 5-HT but not GABA concentrations in the substantia nigra. In addition striatal 5-HT, GABA and NA concentrations were unchanged whereas striatal DA was increased. These observations strongly suggest that the substantia nigra receives a direct inhibitory input from the median raphe nucleus and this pathway uses a 5-HT-like neurotransmitter. This pathway probably contributes to the regulation of nigrostriatal dopaminergic transmission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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