Enhanced sensitivity of postsynaptic serotonin-1A receptors in rats and mice with high trait aggression

Bea J. van der Vegt*, Sietse F. de Boer, Bauke Buwalda, Anne J.H. de Ruiter, Jelly G. de Jong, J.M. Koolhaas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Individual differences in aggressive behaviour have been linked to variability in central serotonergic activity, both in humans and animals. A previous experiment in mice, selectively bred for high or low levels of aggression, showed an up-regulation of postsynaptic serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) receptors, both in receptor binding and in mRNA levels, in the aggressive line [Brain Res 736 (1996) 338]. The aim of this experiment was to study whether similar differences in 5-HT1A receptors exist in individuals from a random-bred rat strain, varying in aggressiveness. In addition, because little is known about the functional consequences of these receptor differences, a response mediated via postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors (i.e., hypothermia) was studied both in the selection lines of mice and in the randomly bred rats. The difference in receptor binding, as demonstrated in mice previously, could not be shown in rats. However, both in rats and mice, the hypothermic response to the 5-HT1A agonist alnespirone was larger in aggressive individuals. So, in the rat strain as well as in the mouse lines, there is, to a greater or lesser extent, an enhanced sensitivity of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors in aggressive individuals. This could be a compensatory up-regulation induced by a lower basal 5-HT neurotransmission, which is in agreement with the serotonin deficiency hypothesis of aggression. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume74
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2001

Keywords

  • aggression
  • serotonin
  • receptor binding autoradiography
  • hypothermic response
  • wild-type Groningen rats
  • SAL and LAL mice
  • 8-OH-DPAT-INDUCED HYPOTHERMIA
  • PHARMACOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION
  • INTERINDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
  • IPSAPIRONE CHALLENGE
  • 5-HT1A AUTORECEPTORS
  • AGONISTS
  • ALNESPIRONE
  • ANTAGONISTS
  • S-15535
  • BRAIN

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