Neurotoxin-induced lesion of the serotonergic raphe-hippocampal pathway produced about a 50% increase in the density of a nM affinity alpha-adrenergic binding site for (3H)WB-4101 in rat hippocampus 18 days postlesion without altering the specific binding of (3H)5-HT to serotonergic receptors. The chronic i.c.v. infusion of serotonin by minipump started at the appropriate time averted or reverted the effect. The dynamics of noradrenergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus was not impaired by lesion of the median raphe nucleus as determined by the uptake and turnover of noradrenaline as well as its release - as reflected by the normetanephrine concentration. In addition, neurotoxin-induced lesion of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle failed to alter either the Bmax or the Kd of (3H)WB-4101 binding to the nM site. Kainic acid-induced destruction of perikarya depressed the nM (3H)WB-4101 binding sites by 60% and completely prevented the up regulation caused by lesion of the median raphe nucleus. Thus, the supersensitivity-like response of the adrenoceptors to the lack of serotonin appears to be localized on kainate-sensitive cells within the hippocampus.
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