Local inhibition of organic cation transporters increases extracellular serotonin in the medial hypothalamus

Na Feng, Bing Mo, Philip L. Johnson, Miles Orchinik, Christopher A. Lowry, Kenneth J. Renner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


In the rat dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), serotonin (5-HT) concentrations are altered rapidly in response to acute stressors. The mechanism for rapid changes in 5-HT concentrations in the DMH is not clear. We hypothesize that the mechanism involves corticosteroid-induced alterations in the uptake of 5-HT from extracellular fluid through the action of corticosterone-sensitive organic cation transporters (OCTs). To determine if OCTs affect the clearance of 5-HT from the extracellular fluid compartment within the medial hypothalamus (MH), the OCT blocker, decynium 22 (0, 10, 30, or 100 μM), was perfused into the MH via a microdialysis probe, and dialysate 5-HT concentrations were measured at 20 min intervals. In addition, home cage behavior was measured both before and after drug administration. Inhibition of OCTs in the MH resulted in a reversible dose-dependent increase in extracellular 5-HT concentration. Increases in extracellular 5-HT concentrations were associated with increases in grooming behavior in rats treated with the highest concentration of decynium 22. No other behavioral responses were observed following administration of any concentration of decynium 22. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that OCTs in the MH play an important role in the regulation of serotonergic neurotransmission and specific behavioral responses. Because the MH plays an important role in the neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses to stress-related stimuli, these data lead to new questions regarding the role of interactions between corticosterone and corticosterone-sensitive OCTs in stress-induced 5-HT accumulation within the MH as well as the physiological and behavioral consequences of these interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 23 2005


  • Corticosterone
  • Dorsomedial hypothalamus
  • HPA axis
  • Organic cation transporter
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Local inhibition of organic cation transporters increases extracellular serotonin in the medial hypothalamus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this