Serotonin uptake into cerebrovascular nerve fibers of rat, visualization by immunohistochemistry, disappearance following sympathectomy, and release during electrical stimulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Immunohistochemistry as well as in vitro uptake and release of [3H]5-HT were performed on pial arteries of rat to investigate the nature of 5-HT containing nerve fibers. Immunoreactive fibers were constantly found only in the basilar, vertebral and superior cerebellar arteries, while in the other parts of the circle of Willis, 5-HT immunofluorescent fibers were absent. After systemic treatment with tryptophan following inhibition of monoamine oxidase with nialamide the immunofluorescence intensity was markedly enhanced. The 5-HT immunoreactive fibers disappeared after superior cervical ganglionectomy or intraventricular administration of 6-hydroxydopamine, but persisted after administration of 5,6-dihydroxytryptamine. When isolated vessels were incubated in low concentration of 5-HT (1 nM) together with nialamide, a very dense plexus of 5-HT immunoreactive fibers appeared in all branches of the circle of Willis. Uptake and release experiments were carried out by incubation of arterial preparations with 3 nM [3H]5-HT (together with nialamide), followed by electrical field stimulation, or by exposure to tyramine or 124 mM potassium, all of which induced a 100%-350% increase in the tritium release over prestimulation values. Preincubation with cocaine and bilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy abolished or markedly attenuated the release upon all modes of stimulation. The results suggested that the 5-HT observed by immunohistochemistry in pial arteries is located in sympathetic nerve terminals where it may serve as a neuromodulator that is released during nerve activation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences


  • Surgical sympathectomy, Neurotoxic denervation, Sympathetic nerve, 5-Hydroxytryptamine, Immunohistochemistry, Cerebral artery, 5-Hydroxytryptamine release, Electrical nerve stimulation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Publication categoryResearch