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The serotonin reuptake blocker citalopram destabilizes fictive locomotor activity in salamander axial circuits through 5-HT1A receptors.

Journal of neurophysiology (2020-05-14)
Aurélie Flaive, Jean-Marie Cabelguen, Dimitri Ryczko
ABSTRACT

Serotoninergic (5-HT) neurons are powerful modulators of spinal locomotor circuits. Most studies on 5-HT modulation focused on the effect of exogenous 5-HT and these studies provided key information about the cellular mechanisms involved. Less is known about the effects of increased release of endogenous 5-HT with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In mammals, such molecules were shown to destabilize the fictive locomotor output of spinal limb networks through 5-HT1A receptors. However, in tetrapods little is known about the effects of increased 5-HT release on the locomotor output of axial networks, which are coordinated with limb circuits during locomotion from basal vertebrates to mammals. Here, we examined the effect of citalopram on fictive locomotion generated in axial segments of isolated spinal cords in salamanders, a tetrapod where raphe 5-HT reticulospinal neurons and intraspinal 5-HT neurons are present as in other vertebrates. Using electrophysiological recordings of ventral roots, we show that fictive locomotion generated by bath-applied glutamatergic agonists is destabilized by citalopram. Citalopram-induced destabilization was prevented by a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, whereas a 5-HT1A receptor agonist destabilized fictive locomotion. Using immunofluorescence experiments, we found 5-HT-positive fibers and varicosities in proximity with motoneurons and glutamatergic interneurons that are likely involved in rhythmogenesis. Our results show that increasing 5-HT release has a deleterious effect on axial locomotor activity through 5-HT1A receptors. This is consistent with studies in limb networks of turtle and mouse, suggesting that this part of the complex 5-HT modulation of spinal locomotor circuits is common to limb and axial networks in limbed vertebrates.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Little is known about the modulation exerted by endogenous serotonin on axial locomotor circuits in tetrapods. Using axial ventral root recordings in salamanders, we found that a serotonin reuptake blocker destabilized fictive locomotor activity through 5-HT1A receptors. Our anatomical results suggest that serotonin is released on motoneurons and glutamatergic interneurons possibly involved in rhythmogenesis. Our study suggests that common serotoninergic mechanisms modulate axial motor circuits in amphibians and limb motor circuits in reptiles and mammals.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid, ≥98% (TLC), solid
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Anti-Serotonin antibody produced in rabbit, whole antiserum
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Anti-Choline Acetyltransferase Antibody, Chemicon®, from goat
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Monoclonal Anti-Vglut2 antibody produced in mouse, clone S29-29, purified immunoglobulin
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Anti-Glutamate antibody produced in rabbit, whole antiserum