Differential behavioral and neurochemical effects following lesions of the dorsal or median raphe nuclei in rats

Barry L. Jacobs, William D. Wise, Kenneth M. Taylor

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Locomotor activity and regional forebrain levels of serotonin (5-HT) were measured following the placement of electrolytic lesions in either the dorsal or median raphe nucleus of adult male rats. In the first two experiments, control lesions were placed in the brachium conjunctivum, and in the third experiment, a sham lesion group served as control. Median lesions significantly increased locomotor actiivity as measured in tilt cages, by 250-300% on the second day post-lesion, and this elevation stabilized at approximately 100% above control levels on day 9 post-lesion. There were no statistically significant differences in the amount of locomotor activity in the dorsal, brachium or sham lesioned groups on any post-lesion day. When the amount of 5-HT depletion was measured 5 days post-lesion, it was found that the dorsal (D) and median (M) lesions produced similar reductions in cerebral cortex (D - 40%; M - 31%); hypothalamus (D - 54%; M - 58%) and striatum (D - 50%; M - 29%). However, the effects of the two lesions were markedly different in the hippocampus. The dorsal lesion produced a non-significant 10% reduction in hippocampal 5-HT level, while the median lesion caused an 82% reduction. On the basis of these data it is hypothesized that a reduction in hippocampal 5-HT may account for the increased activity in the median lesioned group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 25 1974

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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