Previous pharmacological studies have suggested that the firing activity of 5-HT cells of the dorsal raphe nucleus is dependent on a tonically active, central adrenergic system. In this study, a wide variety of alpha-adrenoceptor antagonists, WB-4101 (41 ± 20 μg/kg; ED50 ± SD), piperoxan (0.64 ± 0.20 mg/kg), thymoxamine (0.42 ± 0.31 mg/kg) and phenoxybenzamine (3.0 mg/kg) were found to suppress firing when administered sytemically. These alpha-adrenoceptor antagonists, as well as phentolamine and dihydroergocryptine, also reduced 5-HT cell firing when applied iontophoretically. The order of potency of the drugs when applied systemically was WB-4101 ≫ piperoxan ∼- thymoxamine > phenoxybenzamine. This ranking correlates well with their activity at classical peripheral postsynaptic α-adrenoceptors. In addition, the order of potency of microiontophoretically applied adrenergic agonists (norepinephrine > phenylephrine > α-methylnorepinephrine > isoproterenol > salbutamol) in restoring 5-HT cell firing during competitive alpha-adrenoceptor blockade suggests that this receptor should be classified in the alpha-1-adrenoceptor category. Previous anatomical studies have demonstrated that the dorsal raphe receives an adrenergic input. Taken together, these findings suggest that NE terminals, present in the dorsal raphe, mediate a tonically active adrenergic influence upon which the firing of 5-HT cells depends.
- dorsal raphe nucleus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience