Serotonin decreases generation of dopaminergic neurons from mesencephalic precursors via serotonin type 7 and type 4 receptors.
Inductive signals mediating the differentiation of neural precursors into serotonergic (5-HT) or dopaminergic neurons have not been clarified. We have recently shown that in cell aggregates obtained from rat mesencephalic precursors, reduction of serotonin levels induces a marked increase in generation of dopaminergic neurons. In the present study we treated rat neurospheres with antagonists of the main subtypes of 5-HT receptors, 5-HT transport inhibitors, or 5-HT receptor agonists, and studied the effects on generation of dopaminergic neurons. Cultures treated with Methiothepin (5-HT(1,2,5,6,7) receptor antagonist), the 5-HT(4) receptor antagonist GR113808;67:00-.or the 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist SB 269970 showed a significant increase in generation of dopaminergic cells. Treatment with the 5-HT(1B/1D) antagonist GR 127935, the 5-HT(2) antagonist Ritanserin, the 5-HT transporter inhibitor Fluoxetine, the dopamine and norepinephrine transport inhibitor GBR 12935, or with both inhibitors together, or 5-HT(4) or 5-HT(7) receptor agonists induced significant decreases in generation of dopaminergic cells. Cultures treated with WAY100635 (5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist), the 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist Ondasetron, or the 5-HT(6) receptor antagonist SB 258585 did not show any significant changes. Therefore, 5-HT(4) and 5-HT(7) receptors are involved in the observed serotonin-induced decrease in generation of dopaminergic neurons from proliferating neurospheres of mesencephalic precursors. 5-HT(4) and 5-HT(7) receptors were found in astrocytes and serotonergic cells using double immunolabeling and laser confocal microscopy, and the glial receptors appeared to play a major role.