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Keith V. Michaels, Jonathan W. Stoddard, Emily D. Blum, Anastasiya Maricle, Evangeline Zhou, Mark E. Pennesi, Peter J. Francis; Serotonin Receptor Expression In The Rodent Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):919.
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Multiple investigations have demonstrated the ability of neurotrophic growth factors to prevent photoreceptor death in animal models with retinal disorders. Recently, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which elevate levels of extracellular serotonin, have been shown to increase the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the human brain. Since the eye is an extension of the central nervous system it is plausible that SSRIs may modulate growth factor expression within the retina by activating serotonin receptors. Various serotonin receptors have been characterized in the human retina, however, data for rodent retina is minimal. The purpose of this study is to investigate the presence and distribution of serotonin receptors in the rodent retina.
Reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR was performed using an oligo(dT) with total RNA isolated from mouse and rat neural retina. First-strand cDNA was amplified using consensus primers designed to the serotonin (5-HT) receptors. The integrity of the cDNA population was assessed using the housekeeping gene β-actin. PCR products were visualized in an agarose gel under UV light.
RT-PCR yielded products of the predicted size in mouse and rat retina for 5-HT1a, 5HT-2a, 5-HT3a, 5-HT3b, 5-HT6 and 5-HT7. Amplification signals were strong except for 5-HT7 which was very weak in both rat and mouse and 5-HT2a which was considerably reduced compared to rat. In addition, weak expression for 5-HT4 was observed only in mouse retina while 5-HT5a was not detected in either mouse or rat retina. The serotonin receptor subtypes 5-HT1b and 5-HT1d were also detected in mouse retina.
Our initial results demonstrate that both mouse and rat retina express mRNA for most of the same serotonin receptors as human retina. Experiments are underway to further localize these receptors to specific cell types within the retina at both the mRNA and protein level. Rodent models may serve as valuable tools in evaluating the efficacy of therapies designed to treat retinal disorders through regulation of the serotonergic neurotransmission system.
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