Hearing research

Activation of serotonin 3 receptors changes in vivo auditory responses in the mouse inferior colliculus.

PMID 19236912


Metabotropic serotonin receptors such as 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors shape the level, selectivity, and timing of auditory responses in the inferior colliculus (IC). Less is known about the effects of ionotropic 5-HT3 receptors, which are cation channels that depolarize neurons. In the present study, the influence of the 5-HT3 receptor on auditory responses in vivo was explored by locally iontophoresing a 5-HT3 receptor agonist and antagonists onto single neurons recorded extracellularly in mice. Three main findings emerge from these experiments. First, activation of the 5-HT3 receptor can either facilitate or suppress auditory responses, but response suppressions are not consistent with 5-HT3 effects on presynaptic GABAergic neurons. Both response facilitations and suppressions are less pronounced in neurons with high precision in response latency, suggesting functional differences in the role of receptor activation for different classes of neuron. Finally, the effects of 5-HT3 activation vary across repetition rate within a subset of single neurons, suggesting that the influence of receptor activation sometimes varies with the level of activity. These findings contribute to the view of the 5-HT3 receptor as an important component of the serotonergic infrastructure in the IC, with effects that are complex and neuron-selective.

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