Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 695–708

Stress-related Serotonergic Systems: Implications for Symptomatology of Anxiety and Affective Disorders

  • Matthew W. Hale
  • Anantha Shekhar
  • Christopher A. Lowry
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10571-012-9827-1

Cite this article as:
Hale, M.W., Shekhar, A. & Lowry, C.A. Cell Mol Neurobiol (2012) 32: 695. doi:10.1007/s10571-012-9827-1

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that serotonergic neurons in the midbrain raphe complex have a functional topographic organization. Recent studies suggest that stimulation of a bed nucleus of the stria terminalis-dorsal raphe nucleus pathway by stress- and anxiety-related stimuli modulates a subpopulation of serotonergic neurons in the dorsal part of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRD) and caudal part of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRC) that participates in facilitation of anxiety-like responses. In contrast, recent studies suggest that activation of a spinoparabrachial pathway by peripheral thermal or immune stimuli excites subpopulations of serotonergic neurons in the ventrolateral part of the dorsal raphe nucleus/ventrolateral periaqueducal gray (DRVL/VLPAG) region and interfascicular part of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRI). Studies support a role for serotonergic neurons in the DRVL/VLPAG in inhibition of panic-like responses, and serotonergic neurons in the DRI in antidepressant-like effects. Thus, data suggest that while some subpopulations of serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus play a role in facilitation of anxiety-like responses, others play a role in inhibition of anxiety- or panic-like responses, while others play a role in antidepressant-like effects. Understanding the anatomical and functional properties of these distinct serotonergic systems may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of affective and anxiety disorders. In this review, we describe the anatomical and functional properties of subpopulations of serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus, with a focus on those implicated in symptoms of anxiety and affective disorders, the DRD/DRC, DRVL/VLPAG, and DRI.

Keywords

Dorsal raphe nucleus Serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 5-HT Topography Anatomy Hodology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew W. Hale
    • 2
  • Anantha Shekhar
    • 3
  • Christopher A. Lowry
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for NeuroscienceUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.School of Psychological ScienceLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & ToxicologyIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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