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Photoperiod programs dorsal raphe serotonergic neurons and affective behaviors.

Green NH, Jackson CR, Iwamoto H, Tackenberg MC, McMahon DG
Curr Biol. 2015 25 (10): 1389-94

PMID: 25959961 · PMCID: PMC4445239 · DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.050

The serotonergic raphe nuclei of the midbrain are principal centers from which serotonin neurons project to innervate cortical and sub-cortical structures. The dorsal raphe nuclei receive light input from the circadian visual system and indirect input from the biological clock nuclei. Dysregulation of serotonin neurotransmission is implicated in neurobehavioral disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and alterations in the serotonergic phenotype of raphe neurons have dramatic effects on affective behaviors in rodents. Here, we demonstrate that day length (photoperiod) during development induces enduring changes in mouse dorsal raphe serotonin neurons—programming their firing rate, responsiveness to noradrenergic stimulation, intrinsic electrical properties, serotonin and norepinephrine content in the midbrain, and depression/anxiety-related behavior in a melatonin receptor 1 (MT1)-dependent manner. Our results establish mechanisms by which seasonal photoperiods may dramatically and persistently alter the function of serotonin neurons.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

MeSH Terms (18)

8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Agonists Animals Dorsal Raphe Nucleus Dose-Response Relationship, Drug Female Male Mesencephalon Mice, Inbred C3H Mice, Knockout Norepinephrine Organ Culture Techniques Phenylephrine Photoperiod Receptor, Melatonin, MT1 Serotonergic Neurons Serotonin Serotonin Receptor Agonists

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