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Elsevier, European Neuropsychopharmacology, 11(25), p. 2022-2035

DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.08.021



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Cellular resilience: 5-HT neurons in Tph2−/− mice retain normal firing behavior despite the lack of brain 5-HT

This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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Considerable evidence links dysfunction of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) transmission to neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders characterized by compromised "social" cognition and emotion regulation. It is well established that the brain 5-HT system is under autoregulatory control by its principal transmitter 5-HT via its effects on activity and expression of 5-HT system-related proteins. To examine whether 5-HT itself also has a crucial role in the acquisition and maintenance of characteristic rhythmic firing of 5-HT neurons, we compared their intrinsic electrophysiological properties in mice lacking brain 5-HT, i.e. tryptophan hydroxylase-2 null mice (Tph2(-/-)) and their littermates, Tph2(+/-) and Tph2(+/+), by using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in a brainstem slice preparation and single unit recording in anesthetized animals. We report that the active properties of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) 5-HT neurons in vivo (firing rate magnitude and variability; the presence of spike doublets) and in vitro (firing in response to depolarizing current pulses; action potential shape) as well as the resting membrane potential remained essentially unchanged across Tph2 genotypes. However, there were subtle differences in subthreshold properties, most notably, an approximately 25% higher input conductance in Tph2(-/-) mice compared with Tph2(+/-) and Tph2(+/+) littermates (p