Serotonin in the ventral hippocampus modulates anxiety-like behavior during amphetamine withdrawal

W. Tu, A. Cook, J. L. Scholl, M. Mears, M. J. Watt, K. J. Renner, G. L. Forster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Withdrawal from amphetamine is associated with increased anxiety and sensitivity to stressors which are thought to contribute to relapse. Rats undergoing amphetamine withdrawal fail to exhibit stress-induced increases in serotonin (5-HT) release in the ventral hippocampus and show heightened anxiety-like behaviors. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that reducing 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus is a causal mechanism in increasing anxiety-like behaviors during amphetamine withdrawal. First, we tested whether reducing 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus directly increases anxiety behavior. Male rats were bilaterally infused with 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) into the ventral hippocampus, which produced a 83% decrease in ventral hippocampus 5-HT content, and were tested on the elevated plus maze (EPM) for anxiety-like behavior. Reducing ventral hippocampus 5-HT levels decreased the time spent in the open arms of the maze, suggesting that diminished ventral hippocampus 5-HT levels increases anxiety-like behavior. Next, we tested whether increasing 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus reverses anxiety behavior exhibited by rats undergoing amphetamine withdrawal. Rats were treated daily with either amphetamine (2.5-mg/kg, i.p.) or saline for 2. weeks, and at 2. weeks withdrawal, were infused with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine (0.5. μM) bilaterally into the ventral hippocampus and tested for anxiety-like behavior on the EPM. Rats pre-treated with amphetamine exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior on the EPM. This effect was reversed by ventral hippocampus infusion of paroxetine. Our results suggest that 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus are critical for regulating anxiety behavior. Increasing 5-HT levels during withdrawal may be an effective strategy for reducing anxiety-induced drug relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience
Volume281
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2014

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Hippocampus
  • Psychostimulant
  • Rat
  • Serotonin
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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