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Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Increases In Vitro Firing Rates of Serotonergic Neurons in the Rat Dorsal Raphe Nucleus: Evidence for Activation of a Topographically Organized Mesolimbocortical

By Serotonergic System, Christopher A. Lowry, Joanne E. Rodda, Stafford L. Lightman and Colin D. Ingram


In vivo studies suggest that the stress-related neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) modulates serotonergic neurotransmission. To investigate the underlying mechanisms for this interaction, the present study examined the effects of CRF in vitro on dorsal raphe neurons that displayed electrophysiological and pharmacological properties consistent with a serotonergic phenotype. In the presence of either 1 or 2 mM Ca 2 � , perfusion of ovine CRF or rat/human CRF rapidly and reversibly increased firing rates of a subpopulation (19 of 70, 27%) of serotonergic neurons predominantly located in the ventral portion of the dorsal raphe nucleus. For a given responsive neuron, the excitatory effects of CRF were reproducible, and there was no tachyphylaxis. Excitatory effects were dose-dependent (over the range of 0.1–1.6 �M) and were completely absent after exposure to the competitive CRF receptor antagonists �-helical CRF 9–41 or rat

Year: 2013
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