Serotonergic modulation of hippocampal pyramidal cells in euthermic, cold-acclimated, and hibernating hamsters

D. J. Horrigan, Barbara A Horwitz, J. M. Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Serotonergic fibers project to the hippocampus, a brain area previously shown to have distinctive changes in electroencephalograph (EEG) activity during entrance into and arousal from hibernation. The EEG activity is generated by pyramidal cells in both hibernating and nonhibernating species. Using the brain slice preparation, we characterized serotonergic responses of these CA1 pyramidal cells in euthermic, cold-acclimated, and hibernating Syrian hamsters. Stimulation of Shaffer-collateral/commissural fibers evoked fast synaptic excitation of CA1 pyramidal cells, a response monitored by recording population spikes (the synchronous generation of action potentials). Neuromodulation by serotonin (5-HT)decreased population spike amplitude by 54% in cold-acclimated animals, 80% in hibernating hamsters, and 63% in euthermic animals. The depression was significantly greater in slices from hibernators than from cold-acclimated animals. In slices from euthermic animals, changes in extracellular K+ concentration between 2.5 and 5.0 mM did not significantly alter serotonergic responses. The 5-HT(1A) agonist 8- hydroxy-2(di-n-propylamino)tetralin mimicked serotonergic inhibition in euthermic hamsters. Results show that 5-HT is a robust neuromodulator not only in euthermic animals but also in cold-acclimated and hibernating hamsters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 42-4
StatePublished - 1997


  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • 8-hydroxy-2(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • Hippocampal slice
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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