Inhibitory effects of 5-hydroxytryptamine microinjection into thalamic nucleus submedius on rat tail flick reflex are mediated by 5-HT2 receptors

D Q Xiao, J S Tang, B Yuan, H Jia
Neuroscience Letters 1999 January 29, 260 (2): 85-8
Our previous findings indicated that electrical or chemical activation of the thalamic nucleus submedius (Sm) produced significant antinociceptive effects and that these effect were blocked by lesion or depression of the ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) or the periaqueductal gray (PAG) suggesting a role of the Sm in modulation of nociception. To further investigate the neurotransmitter mechanism involved in this nociceptive modulatory pathway, we tested the effects of microinjection of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, 50 mM, 0.5 microl) into Sm on the tail flick (TF) reflex. The results show that a unilateral microinjection of 5-HT into Sm significantly depresses the TF reflex; and that this effect is repeatable and dose-dependent. Furthermore, microinjection of 5-HT2 receptor antagonist cyproheptadine (CPT, 0.3 mM, 0.5 microl) into the same Sm site reverses this 5-HT-evoked inhibition of TF reflex. These results suggest that 5-HT application to the Sm may activate Sm neurons through the 5-HT2 receptors leading to activation of the brainstem descending inhibitory system via the VLO and depression of the nociceptive information at the spinal level.

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