Article: article from journal or magazin.
Homeostatic regulation of serotonergic function by the serotonin transporter as revealed by nonviral gene transfer
Journal of Neuroscience
With the aim of exploring the relationship between the serotonin transporter (5-HTT or SERT) and the activity level of serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission, in vivo expression of this protein was specifically altered using a nonviral DNA transfer method. Plasmids containing the entire coding sequence or a partial antisense sequence of the 5-HTT gene were complexed with the cationic polymer polyethylenimine and injected into the dorsal raphe nucleus of adult male rats. Significant increase or decrease in both [(3)H]citalopram binding and [(3)H]5-HT synaptosomal uptake were observed in various brain areas up to 2 weeks after a single administration of the sense plasmid or 7 d after injection of the short antisense plasmid, respectively. Such changes in 5-HTT expression were associated with functional alterations in 5-HT neurotransmission, as shown by the increased capacity of 5-HT(1A) receptor stimulation to enhance [(35)S]GTP-gamma-S binding onto the dorsal raphe nucleus in sections from rats injected with the sense plasmid. Conversely, both a decrease in 5-HT(1A)-mediated [(35)S]GTP-gamma-S binding and a reduced potency of the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist ipsapirone to inhibit neuronal firing were observed in the dorsal raphe nucleus of antisense plasmid-injected rats. Furthermore, changes in brain 5-HT and/or 5-HIAA levels, and sleep wakefulness circadian rhythm in the latter animals demonstrated that altered expression of 5-HTT by recombinant plasmids has important functional consequences on central 5-HT neurotransmission in adult rats.
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