Alterations in pharmacological and behavioural responses in recombinant mouse line with an increased predisposition to catalepsy: role of the 5-HT1A receptor

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One important syndrome of psychiatric disorders in humans is catalepsy. Here, we created mice with different predispositions to catalepsy and analysed their pharmacological and behavioural properties.


Two mouse lines, B6-M76C and B6-M76B, were created by transfer of the main locus of catalepsy containing the 5-HT1A receptor gene to the C57BL/6 genetic background. Behaviour, brain morphology, expression of key components of the serotoninergic system, and pharmacological responses to acute and chronic stimulation of the 5-HT1A receptor were compared.


B6-M76B mice were not cataleptic, whereas 14% of B6-M76C mice demonstrated catalepsy and decreased depressive-like behaviour. Acute administration of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT resulted in dose-dependent hypothermia and in decreased locomotion in both lines. Chronic 8-OH-DPAT administration abolished the 5-HT1A receptor-mediated hypothermic response in B6-M76C mice and increased locomotor activity in B6-M76B mice. In addition, 5-HT metabolism was significantly reduced in the hippocampus of B6-M76C mice, and this effect was accompanied by an increased expression of the 5-HT1A receptor.


Our findings indicate that transfer of the main locus of hereditary catalepsy containing the 5-HT1A receptor from CBA mice to the C57BL/6 genetic background led to increased postsynaptic and decreased presynaptic functional responses of the 5-HT1A receptor. This characteristic establishes the B6-M76C line as an attractive model for the pharmacological screening of 5-HT1A receptor-related drugs specifically acting on either pre- or postsynaptic receptors.


This article is part of a themed section on Updating Neuropathology and Neuropharmacology of Monoaminergic Systems. To view the other articles in this section visit

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