Scientific reports

Building a 5-HT3A Receptor Expression Map in the Mouse Brain.

PMID 28276429


Of the many serotonin receptors, the type 3 receptors (5-HT3R) are the only ionotropic ones, playing a key role in fast synaptic transmission and cognitive and emotional brain function through controlled neuronal excitation. To better understand the various functions of 5-HT3Rs, it is very important to know their expression pattern in the central nervous system (CNS). To date, many distributional studies have shown localized 5-HT3R expression in the brain and spinal cord. However, an accurate pattern of 5-HT3R expression in the CNS remains to be elucidated. To investigate the distribution of 5-HT3R in the mouse brain in detail, we performed immunofluorescent staining using 5-HT3AR-GFP transgenic mice. We found strong 5-HT3AR expression in the olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala; and partial expression in the pons, medulla, and spinal cord. Meanwhile, the thalamus, hypothalamus, and midbrain exhibited a few 5-HT3AR-expressing cells, and no expression was detected in the cerebellum. Further, double-immunostaining using neural markers confirmed that 5-HT3AR is expressed in GABAergic interneurons containing somatostatin or calretinin. In the present study, we built a 5-HT3AR expression map in the mouse brain. Our findings make significant contributions in elucidating the novel functions of 5-HT3R in the CNS.