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The brain 5-HT (serotonin) system and circulating corticosteroids are in close interaction and both are implicated in the pathogenesis of affective disorders. The 5-HT1A receptor is thought to play a major role in this relationship. However, the recently cloned 5-HT7 receptor may also be involved, given its pharmacological similarities to the 5-HT1A receptor and its high expression in corticolimbic structures. Using in situ hybridization histochemistry, we have investigated 5-HT7 and 5-HT1A receptor mRNA expression in selected areas of the rat brain 7 days post-adrenalectomy. 5-HT7 receptor mRNA was increased in CA1 and CA3b after adrenalectomy, with no alterations in other hippocampal subfields or in retrosplenial cortex. Adrenalectomy was associated with a marked increase of 5-HT1A receptor mRNA in dentate gyrus, CA3 and CA2, but not in CA1, nor in the raphe. These data indicate that circulating adrenal steroids have a inhibitory role on the expression of hippocampal 5-HT7 receptors as well as 5-HT1A receptors, but the effect upon the two transcripts occurs in different subfields. The 5-HT7 receptor is an additional candidate for mediating the interactions between 5-HT and corticosteroids within the hippocampus.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Publication Date





368 - 374


Adrenal Cortex Hormones, Adrenalectomy, Animals, Hippocampus, Histocytochemistry, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System, In Situ Hybridization, Male, Pituitary-Adrenal System, RNA, Messenger, Raphe Nuclei, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Serotonin, Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT1