Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors regulate rat maternal behavior through distinct behavioral and neural mechanisms

Jun Gao, Lina Nie, Yu Li, Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors play important yet distinctive roles in the regulation of rat maternal behavior. The present study investigated their neural substrates and explored the possible behavioral mechanisms (i.e., behavioral organization or maternal motivation). Sprague-Dawley postpartum females were microinjected with either a selective 5-HT2A agonist (TCB-2, 0.4 or 4.0 μg/side) or a 5-HT2C agonist (MK212, 2.5 or 5.0 μg/side) into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or ventral tegmental area (VTA). Ten and 60 min later, their maternal activities were observed in the home cage; and their motivational responses towards pups were examined in a pup preference test and pup retrieval test throughout the first week of postpartum. In the mPFC, TCB-2 microinjection disrupted major components of maternal behavior (e.g., pup retrieval, pup crouching), as well as the sequential pup retrieval score (a measure of behavioral organization). In contrast, MK212 microinjection had a minimal disruption of maternal behavior. In the VTA, TCB-2 microinjection impaired pup retrieval, nest building, and pup crouching, whereas MK212 microinjection severely impaired pup retrieval, nest building and pup crouching. Moreover, only intra-VTA injection of MK212 significantly suppressed pup preference. Together, our data suggest that 5-HT2A receptors in the mPFC and VTA may play an important role in the behavioral organization or executive control of maternal activities, but not in the motivational processing of the rewarding value of pups (maternal motivation). In contrast, 5-HT2C receptors in the VTA play a critical role in maternal motivation, but not in the organization of maternal responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107848
JournalNeuropharmacology
Volume162
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Fingerprint

Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C
Maternal Behavior
Ventral Tegmental Area
Serotonin
Mothers
Microinjections
Prefrontal Cortex
Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Agonists
Organizations
Motivation
Postpartum Period
Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A
Executive Function
Injections

Keywords

  • 5-HT2A
  • 5-HT2C
  • Maternal behavior
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Serotonin
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors regulate rat maternal behavior through distinct behavioral and neural mechanisms. / Gao, Jun; Nie, Lina; Li, Yu; Li, Ming.

In: Neuropharmacology, Vol. 162, 107848, 01.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{71213e39bccd404685158e4e9bdadb2b,
title = "Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors regulate rat maternal behavior through distinct behavioral and neural mechanisms",
abstract = "Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors play important yet distinctive roles in the regulation of rat maternal behavior. The present study investigated their neural substrates and explored the possible behavioral mechanisms (i.e., behavioral organization or maternal motivation). Sprague-Dawley postpartum females were microinjected with either a selective 5-HT2A agonist (TCB-2, 0.4 or 4.0 μg/side) or a 5-HT2C agonist (MK212, 2.5 or 5.0 μg/side) into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or ventral tegmental area (VTA). Ten and 60 min later, their maternal activities were observed in the home cage; and their motivational responses towards pups were examined in a pup preference test and pup retrieval test throughout the first week of postpartum. In the mPFC, TCB-2 microinjection disrupted major components of maternal behavior (e.g., pup retrieval, pup crouching), as well as the sequential pup retrieval score (a measure of behavioral organization). In contrast, MK212 microinjection had a minimal disruption of maternal behavior. In the VTA, TCB-2 microinjection impaired pup retrieval, nest building, and pup crouching, whereas MK212 microinjection severely impaired pup retrieval, nest building and pup crouching. Moreover, only intra-VTA injection of MK212 significantly suppressed pup preference. Together, our data suggest that 5-HT2A receptors in the mPFC and VTA may play an important role in the behavioral organization or executive control of maternal activities, but not in the motivational processing of the rewarding value of pups (maternal motivation). In contrast, 5-HT2C receptors in the VTA play a critical role in maternal motivation, but not in the organization of maternal responses.",
keywords = "5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, Maternal behavior, Medial prefrontal cortex, Serotonin, Ventral tegmental area",
author = "Jun Gao and Lina Nie and Yu Li and Ming Li",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107848",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "162",
journal = "Neuropharmacology",
issn = "0028-3908",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors regulate rat maternal behavior through distinct behavioral and neural mechanisms

AU - Gao, Jun

AU - Nie, Lina

AU - Li, Yu

AU - Li, Ming

PY - 2020/1/1

Y1 - 2020/1/1

N2 - Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors play important yet distinctive roles in the regulation of rat maternal behavior. The present study investigated their neural substrates and explored the possible behavioral mechanisms (i.e., behavioral organization or maternal motivation). Sprague-Dawley postpartum females were microinjected with either a selective 5-HT2A agonist (TCB-2, 0.4 or 4.0 μg/side) or a 5-HT2C agonist (MK212, 2.5 or 5.0 μg/side) into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or ventral tegmental area (VTA). Ten and 60 min later, their maternal activities were observed in the home cage; and their motivational responses towards pups were examined in a pup preference test and pup retrieval test throughout the first week of postpartum. In the mPFC, TCB-2 microinjection disrupted major components of maternal behavior (e.g., pup retrieval, pup crouching), as well as the sequential pup retrieval score (a measure of behavioral organization). In contrast, MK212 microinjection had a minimal disruption of maternal behavior. In the VTA, TCB-2 microinjection impaired pup retrieval, nest building, and pup crouching, whereas MK212 microinjection severely impaired pup retrieval, nest building and pup crouching. Moreover, only intra-VTA injection of MK212 significantly suppressed pup preference. Together, our data suggest that 5-HT2A receptors in the mPFC and VTA may play an important role in the behavioral organization or executive control of maternal activities, but not in the motivational processing of the rewarding value of pups (maternal motivation). In contrast, 5-HT2C receptors in the VTA play a critical role in maternal motivation, but not in the organization of maternal responses.

AB - Serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors play important yet distinctive roles in the regulation of rat maternal behavior. The present study investigated their neural substrates and explored the possible behavioral mechanisms (i.e., behavioral organization or maternal motivation). Sprague-Dawley postpartum females were microinjected with either a selective 5-HT2A agonist (TCB-2, 0.4 or 4.0 μg/side) or a 5-HT2C agonist (MK212, 2.5 or 5.0 μg/side) into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or ventral tegmental area (VTA). Ten and 60 min later, their maternal activities were observed in the home cage; and their motivational responses towards pups were examined in a pup preference test and pup retrieval test throughout the first week of postpartum. In the mPFC, TCB-2 microinjection disrupted major components of maternal behavior (e.g., pup retrieval, pup crouching), as well as the sequential pup retrieval score (a measure of behavioral organization). In contrast, MK212 microinjection had a minimal disruption of maternal behavior. In the VTA, TCB-2 microinjection impaired pup retrieval, nest building, and pup crouching, whereas MK212 microinjection severely impaired pup retrieval, nest building and pup crouching. Moreover, only intra-VTA injection of MK212 significantly suppressed pup preference. Together, our data suggest that 5-HT2A receptors in the mPFC and VTA may play an important role in the behavioral organization or executive control of maternal activities, but not in the motivational processing of the rewarding value of pups (maternal motivation). In contrast, 5-HT2C receptors in the VTA play a critical role in maternal motivation, but not in the organization of maternal responses.

KW - 5-HT2A

KW - 5-HT2C

KW - Maternal behavior

KW - Medial prefrontal cortex

KW - Serotonin

KW - Ventral tegmental area

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85074634191&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85074634191&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107848

DO - 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107848

M3 - Article

C2 - 31706992

AN - SCOPUS:85074634191

VL - 162

JO - Neuropharmacology

JF - Neuropharmacology

SN - 0028-3908

M1 - 107848

ER -