Sensoryr responsiveness of brain noradrenergic neurons in modulated by endogenous brain serotonin

Ramin Shiekhattar, Gary Aston-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Previous results have indicated that application of serotonin (5-HT) onto noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) neurons selectively attenuates the response of these cells to excitatory amino acids (EAAs). Other studies revealed that certain sensory responses of LC neurons are mediated by EAA inputs. We examined the role of endogenous 5-HT in modulating sensory responses of LC neurons that are EAA-mediated. LC neurons recorded in rats pretreated with the serotonin (5-HT) depletion, p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA), exhibited increased responsiveness to electrical stimulation of a rear footpad. Conversely, injection of the 5-HT precursor, 5-hdyroxytryptophan (5-HTP), reversed this effect of PCPA and attenuated this sensory response of LC neurons in drug-naive animals. Neither treatment altered the spontaneous discharge rate of LC neurons. These results are consistent with previous findings indicating that 5-HT has potent but selective effects on EAA-mediated responses of LC neurons, and in addition point to a possible functional role for endogenous 5-HT in controlling sensory-evoked LC activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 24 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • 5-HT
  • 5-HTP
  • Excitatory amino acid
  • Noradrenaline
  • PCPA
  • Sensory response

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