The role of serotonin in the control of cerebral activity: studies with intracerebral 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine
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Intact rats treated with centrally acting antimuscarinic (atropinic) drugs display large amplitude irregular slow waves in both the neocortex and hippocampus during behavioral immobility and some stereotyped automatic behaviors (Type 2 behavior). However, rhythmical slow activity in the hippocampus and low voltage fast activity in the neocortex occur in close correlation with spontaneous changes in posture, head movement, walking, rearing, swimming or struggling when held (Type 1 behavior). It has previously been proposed that these waveforms, jointly referred to as atropine-resistant cerebral activation (ARCA) are dependent on ascending serotonergic projections. As a further test of this hypothesis, we have studied rats in which forebrain levels of serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were reduced to 3-10% of control levels as a result of multiple intrabrainstem injections of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine. This treatment strongly reduced or abolished ARCA in most cases but did not reduce atropine-sensitive cerebral activation which appears to be dependent on ascending cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain to the cerebral cortex. Therefore, ARCA appears to be dependent on ascending serotonergic inputs to the forebrain.
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