Localization of 5-HT receptors in the mammalian cortex

  • Noemí Santana
  • Julián de Almeida
  • Guadalupe Mengod
  • Francesc Artigas


Serotonergic neurons located in the dorsal and median raphe nuclei innervate the whole neuraxis and are critically involved in a large number of physiological functions, including sleep. Derangements of the serotonergic system are suspected in several psychiatric disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders. A large body of data supports a prominent role of dopamine in cortical function. However, much less is known on the role of serotonin (5-HT) in the neocortex, despite a very dense serotonergic innervation of some areas, such as the frontal lobe. Among other 5-HT receptors, this area contains a high density of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors in the rodent, primate and human brains. Using double in situ hybridization, we reported on the presence of both receptor subtypes in a high proportion of pyramidal neurons and a smaller, yet significant proportion of GABAergic neurons. These data indicate that 5-HT can modulate the activity of cortical networks in a number of ways, including the activation of receptors on projection pyramidal neurons and on local inhibitory interneurons.


Prefrontal Cortex Pyramidal Neuron Receptor mRNA Raphe Nucleus Dorsal Raphe Nucleus 
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© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noemí Santana
    • 1
  • Julián de Almeida
    • 1
  • Guadalupe Mengod
    • 1
  • Francesc Artigas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurochemistry and NeuropharmacologyInstitut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques de Barcelona, CSIC-IDIBAPSBarcelonaSpain

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