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We investigated the effect of electroconvulsive shock (ECS), administered five times over 10 days, on 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor mRNA and binding site densities in the rat brain using in situ hybridization histochemistry and quantitative autoradiography. ECS treatment increased 5-HT1A receptor mRNA abundance and binding site densities in the dentate gyrus, but decreased these parameters in the CA3c layer of the hippocampus. No changes in 5-HT1A receptor mRNA and binding sites occurred in other hippocampal subfields, neocortex or raphe nuclei. Repeated ECS was also found to increase 5-HT2A receptor binding site densities in the neocortex and this was accompanied by a non-significant increase in cortical 5-HT2A receptor mRNA abundance. Our study demonstrates that in the rat, repeated ECS produces anatomically and molecularly discrete effects on 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor gene expression. These changes may be relevant to the therapeutic effect of repeated ECS in depression.


Journal article



Publication Date





901 - 904


Animals, Autoradiography, Binding Sites, Brain Chemistry, Cerebral Cortex, Electroshock, Gene Expression Regulation, Hippocampus, Histocytochemistry, In Situ Hybridization, Male, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Serotonin