The hypothesis that serotonin (5-HT) influences the onset of differentiation (cessation of division) of prospective 5-HT target neurons during embryogenesis was tested by administering the 5-HT depleting drug
-chlorophenylalanine (pCPA) to pregnant rats and dating the time of last cell division for fetal neurons using long survival
H-thymidine autoradiography. PCPA specifically retarded the onset of neuronal differentiation in brain regions known to contain 5-HT terminals or to have a high 5-HT content in the adult (5-HT target cells). Conversely, the 'stress' of daily vehicle injections accelerated onset of differentiation in these regions, possibly due to stimulation of 5-HT synthesis by glucocorticoids. These data support the model of 5-HT as a humoral signal for the differentiation of cells later recognized by 5-HT neurons as appropriate targets for synaptogenesis.
Dr. Jean M. Lauder, A. Ribicoff Research Center, Norwich Hospital, Box 508, Norwich, CT 06360 (USA)
Published online: May 26, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 16
Vol. 1, No. 1, Year 1978 (Cover Date: 1978)
Journal Editor: Campagnoni, A.T. (Los Angeles, Calif.)
ISSN: 0378–5866 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9859 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/DNE
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