Experimental brain research

Excitation and inhibition of rat medial vestibular nucleus neurones by 5-hydroxytryptamine.

PMID 8491267


The effects of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and related compounds on the discharge rate of tonically active medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurones were studied in an in vitro slice preparation of the dorsal brainstem of the rat. The majority (87 of 107, 82%) of MVN neurones were excited by 5-HT. Nine cells (8%) showed a biphasic response to 5-HT, which consisted of a brief inhibition followed by excitation. Eleven cells (10%) were inhibited by 5-HT. The excitatory effects of 5-HT were mimicked by alpha-methyl-5-HT and antagonised by ketanserin and ritanserin, indicating the involvement of the 5-HT2 subtype of 5-HT receptor. In biphasic cells, blockade of 5-HT2 receptors by ketanserin reduced the excitatory component of the response and revealed an enhanced initial inhibition. The inhibitory effects in biphasic cells, and in cells that showed a pure inhibition in response to 5-HT, were blocked by pindobind-5-HT and mimicked by 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin indicating the involvement of 5-HT1A receptors. The significance of these findings in relation to the effects of 5-HT on vestibular reflex function is discussed.

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