Differential role of serotonin projections from the dorsal and median raphe nuclei in phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion and fos-like immunoreactivity in rats Academic Article uri icon


  • Altered brain serotonin activity is implicated in schizophrenia. We have previously shown differential involvement of serotonergic projections from the dorsal or median raphe nucleus in phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion in rats, a behavioral model of aspects of schizophrenia. Here we further investigated the effects of serotonergic lesions of the raphe nuclei on phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion by parallel assessment of Fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI), a marker of neuronal activation in the brain. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with pentobarbitone and stereotaxically microinjected with 5 μg of the serotonergic neurotoxin, 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT), into either the dorsal raphe (DRN) or median raphe nucleus (MRN). Two weeks after the surgery, rats with lesions of the MRN, but not those with lesions of the DRN, showed significant enhancement of the hyperlocomotion induced by injection of 2.5 mg/kg of phencyclidine. Rats with MRN lesions also showed significantly higher levels of FLI in the polymorphic layer of the dentate gyrus in the dorsal hippocampus (PoDG) when compared with sham-operated controls. Rats with lesions of the DRN showed significantly higher levels of FLI in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). These results indicate that FLI in the PoDG, but not the NAcc, correlates with enhanced phencyclidine-induced locomotor hyperactivity in MRN-lesioned rats. These results support our previous studies suggesting a role of serotonergic projections from the MRN to the dorsal hippocampus in some of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

publication date

  • October 2012