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Paradoxical increase in survival of newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus of mice with constitutive depletion of serotonin.

Abstract : Increased adult neurogenesis is a major neurobiological correlate of the beneficial effects of antidepressants. Indeed, selective serotonin (5-HT) re-uptake inhibitors, which increase 5-HT transmission, enhance adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. However, the consequences of 5-HT depletion are still unclear as studies using neurotoxins that target serotonergic neurons reached contradictory conclusions on the role of 5-HT on DG cell proliferation. Here, we analysed two genetic models of 5-HT depletion, the Pet1(-/-) and the VMAT2(f/f) ; SERT(cre/+) mice, which have, respectively, 80 and 95% reductions in hippocampal 5-HT. In both models, we found unchanged cell proliferation of the neural precursors in the DG subgranular zone, whereas a significant increase in the survival of newborn neurons was noted 1 and 4 weeks after BrdU injections. This pro-survival trait was phenocopied pharmacologically with 5-HT synthesis inhibitor PCPA treatment in adults, indicating that this effect was not developmental. Furthermore, a 1-week administration of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT in Pet1(-/-) and PCPA-treated mice normalised hippocampal cell survival. Overall, our results indicate that constitutive 5-HT depletion does not alter the proliferation of neural precursors in the DG but promotes the survival of newborn cells, an effect which involves activation of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors. The role of 5-HT in selective neuronal elimination points to a new facet in its multiple effects in controlling neural circuit maturation.
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Silvina Diaz, Nicolas Narboux-Nême, Sara Trowbridge, Sophie Scotto-Lomassese, Felix Kleine Borgmann, et al.. Paradoxical increase in survival of newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus of mice with constitutive depletion of serotonin.. European Journal of Neuroscience, Wiley, 2013, 38 (5), pp.2650-8. ⟨10.1111/ejn.12297⟩. ⟨inserm-00996749⟩

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