Enhanced Stress Response in 5-HT1AR Overexpressing Mice: Altered HPA Function and Hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation
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AuthorPilar Cuellar, María Fuencisla; Vidal, Rebeca; Díaz Martínez, Álvaro; Garro Martínez, Emilio; Linge Méndez, Raquel; Castro Fernández, María Elena; Haberzettl, Robert; Fink, Heidrun; Bert, Bettina; Brosda, Jan; Romero Presno, Beatriz; Crespo Facorro, Benedicto; Pazos Carro, Ángel
Postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors (5-HT1AR) play an important role in anxiety and stress, although their contribution is still controversial. Previous studies report that mice overexpressing postsynaptic 5-HT1ARs show no changes in basal anxiety, though the influence of stress conditions has not been addressed yet. In this study, we used this animal model to evaluate the role of 5-HT1ARs in anxiety response after pre-exposure to an acute stressor. Under basal conditions, 5-HT1AR overexpressing animals presented high corticosterone levels and a lower mineralocorticoid/ glucocorticoid receptor ratio. After pre-exposure to a single stressor, they showed a high anxiety-like response, associated with a blunted increase in corticosterone levels and higher c-Fos activation in the prefrontal cortex. Moreover, these mice also presented a lack of downregulation of hippocampal long-term potentiation after stress exposure. Therefore, higher postsynaptic 5-HT1AR activation might predispose to a high anxious phenotype and an impaired stress coping behavior.