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We have previously demonstrated that susceptibility of the Lewis rat to inflammatory disease, compared to the relatively resistant Fischer F344 rat, is related to a hyporesponsive hypothalamopituitary adrenal axis to inflammatory and other stress mediators. Since 5-HT and the 5HT1A receptor are important stimulators of this axis, we have investigated the levels of 5-HT1A receptor binding sites and encoding mRNA, 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid in various brain regions of Lewis, Harlan Sprague Dawley and Fischer F344 rats. Lewis rats expressed significantly less hippocampal and frontal cortical 5-HT1A receptor binding sites and mRNA than Harlan Sprague-Dawley and Fischer F344 rats. Adrenalectomy increased the number of 5HT1A receptor binding sites and mRNA expression in the hippocampus of all three strains. The levels of hippocampal 5-HT in Fischer F344 rats were significantly greater than levels detected in the same regions for the other two strains. Hypothalamic 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid levels in Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats were higher than the same area from the other two strains. Adrenalectomy increased the levels of 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid in the hypothalamus of all three strains. We conclude that hippocampal 5-HT1A receptor densities and 5-HT levels in the rat parallel the the activity and responsiveness of the hypthalamopituitary-adrenal axis. We have published these data in an earlier report.


Journal article


Behav Brain Res

Publication Date





365 - 368


Adrenalectomy, Animals, Female, Hippocampus, Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System, Pituitary-Adrenal System, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Inbred F344, Rats, Inbred Lew, Rats, Inbred Strains, Receptors, Serotonin, Serotonin, Species Specificity