Serotonin 1A receptor messenger RNA regulation in the hippocampus after acute stress

Juan F. López, Israel Liberzon, Delia M. Vázquez, Elizabeth A. Young, Stanley J. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background: When rats are subjected to chronic stress for 2 weeks, a significant decrease in hippocampal serotonin (5-HT)(1A) messenger RNA (mRNA) is observed. We wanted to investigate whether stress, administered for shorter periods of time, would result in decreases in 5-HT(1A) gene expression in hippocampus. Methods: In one experiment, rats were either stressed daily for 1 week or implanted with two corticosterone pellets to produce elevated corticosterone levels. In another experiment, rats were subjected to a severe acute stressor and sacrificed 1 day or 1 week after the stressor. Results: We found that 24 hours after the acute stress, rats showed a significant decrease in 5-HT(1A) mRNA levels in CA1 and the dentate gyrus compared to controls. No significant changes in 5-HT(1A) mRNA levels were detected in any of the other groups. Conclusions: Although 1 week of chronic stress is not sufficient to cause significant decreases in hippocampal 5- HT(1A) mRNA levels, a severe and prolonged acute stress is capable of down- regulating, at least transiently, 5-HT(1A) mRNA gene expression in hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-937
Number of pages4
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999


  • Hippocampus
  • In situ hybridization
  • Rat
  • Receptor
  • Serotonin
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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