Dual effect of serotonin on the dendritic growth of cultured hippocampal neurons: Involvement of 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptors
Abstract Serotonin acts through its receptors (5-HTRs) to shape brain networks during development and modulates essential functions in mature brain. The 5-HT 1A R is mainly located at soma of hippocampal neurons early during brain development and its expression gradually shifts to dendrites during postnatal development. The 5-HT 7 R expressed early during hippocampus development, shows a progressive reduction in its expression postnatally. Considering these changes during development, we evaluated in cultured hippocampal neurons whether the 5-HT 1A R and 5-HT 7 R change their expression, modulate dendritic growth, and activate signaling pathways such as ERK1/2, AKT/GSK3β and LIMK/cofilin, which may sustain dendrite outgrowth by controlling cytoskeleton dynamics. We show that mRNA levels of both receptors increase between 2 and 7 DIV; however only protein levels of 5-HT 7 R increase significantly at 7 DIV. The 5-HT 1A R is preferentially distributed in the soma, while 5-HT 7 R displays a somato-dendritic localization at 7 DIV. Through stimulation with 5-HT at 7 DIV during 24h and using specific antagonists, we determined that 5-HT 1A R decreases the number of primary and secondary dendrites and restricts the growth of primary dendrites. The activation of 5-HT 1A R and 5-HT 7 R promotes the growth of short secondary dendrites and triggers ERK1/2 and AKT phosphorylation through MEK and PI3K activation respectively; without changes in the phosphorylation of LIMK and cofilin. We conclude that 5-HT 1A R restricts dendritogenesis and outgrowth of primary dendrites, but that both 5-HT 1A R and 5-HT 7 R promote secondary dendrite outgrowth. These data support the role of 5-HT in neuronal outgrowth during development and provide insight into cellular basis of neurodevelopmental disorders. Highlights The protein levels of 5-HT 7 R are increased in hippocampal neurons during DIV. 5-HT reduces significantly the growth of primary dendrites through the activation of 5-HT 1A R. 5-HT 1A R and 5-HT 7 R have a similar action by promoting short secondary dendrites growth. 5-HT 1A R and 5-HT 7 R trigger activation of ERK and AKT which are important signaling molecules involved in dendrite outgrowth. 5-HT 1A R and 5-HT 7 R activation do not promote phosphorylation and inactivation of actin-remodeling protein cofilin.
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