Role of 5-HT1A and 5-HT3 receptors in serotonergic activation of sensory neurons in relation to itch and pain behavior in the rat

Dan Domocos, Tudor Selescu, Laura Cristina Ceafalan, Mirela Iodi Carstens, Earl Carstens, Alexandru Babes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) released by platelets, mast cells, and immunocytes is a potent inflammatory mediator which modulates pain and itch sensing in the peripheral nervous system. The serotonergic receptors expressed by primary afferent neurons involved in these sensory functions are not fully identified and appear to be to a large extent species dependent. Moreover, the mechanisms through which 5-HT receptor activation is coupled to changes in neuronal excitability have not been completely revealed. Using a combination of in vitro (calcium and voltage imaging and patch-clamp) and in vivo behavioral methods, we used both male and female Wistar rats to provide evidence for the involvement of two 5-HT receptor subtypes, 5-HT1A and 5-HT3, in mediating the sustained and transient effects, respectively, of 5-HT on rat primary afferent neurons involved in pain and itch processing. In addition, our results are consistent with a model in which sustained serotonergic responses triggered via the 5-HT1A receptor are due to closure of background potassium channels, followed by membrane depolarization and action potentials, during which the activation of voltage-gated calcium channels leads to calcium entry. Our results may provide a better understanding of mammalian serotonergic itch signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • dorsal root ganglion
  • itch sensing
  • pain behavior
  • serotonin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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