This study mapped the location of serotonin (5HT) 1A, 2A and 2C receptor mRNA expression in the female macaque hypothalamus and determined whether the expression was regulated by estrogen plus or minus progesterone treatment using in situ hybridization (ISH) and densitometric analysis of autoradiographic films. The experimental groups of pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were spayed controls (n = 4), estrogen treated (28 days, n = 4) and estrogen + progesterone-treated animals (14 days estrogen + 14 days estrogen and progesterone, n = 4). Monkey specific 5HT1A (432 bp), 2A (411 bp) and 2C (294 bp) receptor probes were generated with PCR. Moderate 5HT1A receptor hybridization signal was detected in the preoptic area and the ventromedial nuclei. Less intense 5HT1A receptor signal was detected in a contiguous area from the dorsomedial nuclei through the posterior hypothalamus and in the supramammillary area. There was no change in 5HT1A receptor hybridization signal in any area with ovarian steroid treatment. Dense 5HT2A receptor hybridization signal was morphologically confined to the paraventricular, supraoptic, and mammillary nuclei and the external capsule of the thalamus. Light 5HT2A mRNA signal was inconsistently observed in the ventromedial nuclei. There was no change in the 5HT2A receptor hybridization signal in any area with ovarian steroid treatment. The 5HT2C receptor mRNA was widely distributed in the macaque hypothalamus. The preoptic area and anterior hypothalamus were largely positive for 5HT2C mRNA with a more concentrated signal in a narrow periventricular area. Dense 5HT2C receptor signal was detected lateral to the ventromedial nuclei (capsule), in the tuberomammillary nuclei, arcuate nucleus, dorsomedial nuclei, infundibular area and choroid plexus. Moderate 5HT2C receptor signal was detected in the ventromedial nuclei, lateral hypothalamus and dorsal to posterior hypothalamus. There was a significant decrease in total 5HT2C mRNA hybridization signal with ovarian steroid treatment in the ventromedial nuclei, dorsal and posterior hypothalamus. In summary, macaque 5HT1A, 2A and 2C receptor mRNAs are located in distinct hypothalamic loci which play a role in a number of autonomic functions and behavior. Ovarian steroids decreased the expression of 5HT2C receptor mRNA in the ventromedial nuclei, dorsal and posterior hypothalamus. The expression of 5HT1A and 5HT2A receptor mRNA was not altered by treatment with ovarian steroids.
- Serotonin receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience