Serotonin induces tonic firing in layer V pyramidal neurons of rat prefrontal cortex during postnatal development.

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Animals, Down-Regulation, Female, Ketanserin, Male, Membrane-Potentials, Patch-Clamp-Techniques, Piperidines, Prefrontal-Cortex, Pyramidal-Cells, Rats, Rats-Sprague-Dawley, Receptor-Serotonin-5-HT2A, Receptors-Serotonin, Serotonin, Serotonin-Antagonists, Signal-Transduction

JAX Source

J Neurosci 2003 Apr; 23(8):3373-84.


The effects of serotonin (5-HT) on neuronal activity were examined during postnatal development in layer V pyramidal neurons of the rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) in vitro. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made in slices obtained from rats aged between postnatal day (P) 6 and P31. In P14 or younger neurons, bath application of 5-HT (10 microM) induced a large depolarization followed by tonic firing at 2-5 Hz. The excitatory effects of 5-HT decreased rapidly after P14, so that by P21, 5-HT produced a small depolarization or hyperpolarization without cell firing. The excitatory effects of 5-HT at younger ages were attributed to 5-HT2A receptors because the effects were mimicked by the 5-HT2 agonist alpha-methyl-5-HT but not by the 5-HT3 agonist 1-(m-chlorophenyl)-biguanide, nor by the 5-HT2B/2C agonist 1-(3-chlorophenyl)piperazine, and were blocked by the 5-HT2A antagonists ketanserin and alpha-phenyl-1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinemethanol. The excitatory responses persisted in 0 [Ca2+]o and high [Mg2+]o in the presence of TTX or blockers of ionotropic glutamate receptors, suggesting that the effects were mediated essentially by postsynaptic mechanisms. The responses to 5-HT involve a reduction of K+ conductance and an enhancement of the hyperpolarization-activated Na+/K+ current. The developmental decline of 5-HT-induced excitatory effects was associated with a downregulation of 5-HT2A receptor function and a decrease in the input resistance during early life. These results suggest that 5-HT is an important regulator of neuronal activity in the neonatal PFC and may play a role in activity-dependent developmental processes.