Repeated ECS differentially affects rat brain 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor expression.
Burnet PW., Mead A., Eastwood SL., Lacey K., Harrison PJ., Sharp T.
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.