Appropriate processing of reward and aversive information is essential for survival. Although a critical role of serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) in reward processing has been shown, the lack of rewarding effects with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) implies the presence of a discrete serotonergic system playing an opposite role to the DRN in the processing of reward and aversive stimuli. Here, we demonstrated that serotonergic neurons in the median raphe nucleus (MRN) of mice process reward and aversive information in opposite directions to DRN serotonergic neurons. We further identified MRN serotonergic neurons, including those projecting to the interpeduncular nucleus (5-HTMRN→IPN), as a key mediator of reward and aversive stimuli. Moreover, 5-HT receptors, including 5-HT2A receptors in the interpeduncular nucleus, are involved in the aversive properties of MRN serotonergic neural activity. Our findings revealed an essential function of MRN serotonergic neurons, including 5-HTMRN→IPN, in the processing of reward and aversive stimuli.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology