Animal studies examining the effects of stress upon brain serotonergic neurons have not presented a clearcut and consistent picture. One stressor that has been shown to exert a consistently strong effect on serotonin release and c-fos activation in the dorsal raphe nucleus of rats is a series of inescapable electrical shocks. Using immunohistochemical double labeling for c-fos activation and serotonin, we examined the effects of delivering 100 inescapable tailshocks to rats on serotonergic neuronal activation throughout the brainstem raphe system. This stimulus exerted a consistent and strong activation of the entire midline brain stem system of serotonergic neurons. The implications of these findings for animal models of human psychopathology are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Inescapable shock