JOURNAL ARTICLE

5-HT1A receptors of the rat dorsal raphe lateral wings and dorsomedial subnuclei differentially control anxiety- and panic-related defensive responses

Ailton Spiacci, Roger Luis Henschel Pobbe, Melina Matthiesen, Helio Zangrossi
Neuropharmacology 2016, 107: 471-479
26145183
The dorsal raphe nucleus (DR), the main source of 5-HT projections to brain areas involved in anxiety regulation, is composed by 5 subnuclei that differ morphologically, functionally and neurochemically. Based on immunohistochemical evidence, it has been proposed that whereas 5-HT cells of the dorsomedial (dmDR) and caudal subnuclei are implicated in the pathophysiology of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), neurons of the lateral wings (lwDR) are associated with panic disorder (PD). We here tested this hypothesis from a behavioral perspective by investigating the consequences of the non-selective stimulation of neurons within the dmDR and lwDR, or the pharmacological manipulation of 5-HT1A receptors located in these nuclei, of male Wistar rats exposed to the elevated T-maze. This test allows the measurement of both a GAD- (i.e. inhibitory avoidance) and a PD- (i.e. escape) related response in the same animal. Intra-dmDR injection of either the excitatory amino acid kainic acid or the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY-100635 facilitated inhibitory avoidance acquisition, suggesting an anxiogenic effect, and inhibited escape expression, a panicolytic-like effect. Microinjection of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT caused the opposite effect. Administration of the same drugs into the lwDR only altered escape performance. Whereas kainic acid and 8-OH-DPAT facilitated its expression, WAY-100635 inhibited it. At higher doses, kainic acid administration evoked vigorous escape reactions as measured in an open-field. These findings implicate 5-HT neurons of the dmDR in the regulation of both GAD- and PD-related defensive behaviors. They also support a primary role of the lwDR in the mediation of PD-associated responses.

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