Kim JY, Kim A, Zhao ZQ, Liu XY, Chen ZF. Mol Brain. 2014;7(1):48.


BACKGROUND: Despite the importance of 5-HT1A as a major target for the action of several anxiolytics/antidepressant drugs, little is known about its regulation in central serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) neurons.

RESULTS: We report that expression of 5-HT1A and the transcription factor Pet1 was impaired in the rostral raphe nuclei of mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) after birth. The downregulation of Pet1 was recapitulated in 5-Ht1a-/- mice. Using an explant culture system, we show that reduction of Pet1 and 5-HT1A was rescued in Tph2-/- brainstem by exogenous 5-HT. In contrast, 5-HT failed to rescue reduced expression of Pet1 in 5-Ht1a-/- brainstem explant culture.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest a causal relationship between 5-HT1A and Pet1, and reveal a potential mechanism by which 5-HT1A-Pet1 autoregulatory loop is maintained by 5-HT in a spatiotemporal-specific manner during postnatal development. Our results are relevant to understanding the pathophysiology of certain psychiatric and developmental disorders.

 Zhou-Feng Chen  Chen Lab  PubMed