Individual differences in coping style emerge as a function of underlying variability in the activation of a mesocorticolimbic brain circuitry. Particularly serotonin seems to play an important role. For this reason, we assessed serotonin-2A receptor (5-HT2AR) binding in the brain of rats with different coping styles. We compared proactive and reactive males of two rat strains, Wild-type Groningen (WTG) and Roman high- and low avoidance (RHA, RLA). 5-HT2AR binding in (pre)frontal cortex (FC) and hippocampus was investigated using a radiolabeled antagonist ([3H]MDL-100907) and agonist ([3H]Cimbi-36) in binding assays. No differences in 5-HT2AR binding were observed in male animals with different coping styles. [3H]MDL-100907 displayed a higher specific-to-nonspecific binding ratio than [3H]Cimbi-36. Our findings suggest that in these particular rat strains, 5-HT2AR binding is not an important molecular marker for coping style. Because neither an antagonist nor an agonist tracer showed any binding differences, it is unlikely that the affinity state of the 5-HT2AR is co-varying with levels of aggression or active avoidance in WTG, RHA and RLA. Synapse, 69:226–232, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neither an antagonist (3H-MDL100907) nor an agonist (3H-Cimbi36) ligand revealed any significant difference of serotonin-2A receptor binding in proactive and reactive individuals of two rat strains. RHA = Roman High Avoidance, RLA = Roman Low Avoidance, WTG HA = Wild-Type Groningen High Aggression, WTG LA = Wild-Type Groningen Low Aggression.