Enriched expression of serotonin 1B and 2A receptor genes in macaque visual cortex and their bidirectional modulatory effects on neuronal responses

Akiya Watakabe, Yusuke Komatsu, Osamu Sadakane, Satoshi Shimegi, Toru Takahata, Noriyuki Higo, Shiro Tochitani, Tsutomu Hashikawa, Tomoyuki Naito, Hironobu Osaki, Hiroshi Sakamoto, Masahiro Okamoto, Ayako Ishikawa, Shin Ichiro Hara, Takafumi Akasaki, Hiromichi Sato, Tetsuo Yamamori

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68 Citations (Scopus)


To study the molecular mechanism how cortical areas are specialized in adult primates, we searched for area-specific genes in macaque monkeys and found striking enrichment of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) 1B receptor mRNA, and to a lesser extent, of 5-HT2A receptor mRNA, in the primary visual area (V1). In situ hybridization analyses revealed that both mRNA species were highly concentrated in the geniculorecipient layers IVA and IVC, where they were coexpressed in the same neurons. Monocular inactivation by tetrodotoxin injection resulted in a strong and rapid (<3 h) downregulation of these mRNAs, suggesting the retinal activity dependency of their expression. Consistent with the high expression level in V1, clear modulatory effects of 5-HT1B and 5-HT2A receptor agonists on the responses of V1 neurons were observed in in vivo electrophysiological experiments. The modulatory effect of the 5-HT1B agonist was dependent on the firing rate of the recorded neurons: The effect tended to be facilitative for neurons with a high firing rate, and suppressive for those with a low firing rate. The 5-HT2A agonist showed opposite effects. These results suggest that this serotonergic system controls the visual response in V1 for optimization of information processing toward the incoming visual inputs. 2008 The Authors2009This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1928
Number of pages14
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-HT
  • Activity-dependent
  • Area-specific
  • Monocular deprivation
  • Primate
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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