Serotonin augments the cationic current Ih in central neurons

Daniel H. Bobker, John T. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Serotinin (5-HT) induced a slow depolarization when superfused onto neurons of the rat brainstem nucleus prepositus hypoglossi (PH) in vitro. The depolarization was associated with a decrease in cell input resistance. In voltage clamp, 5-HT caused an inward current that activated at approximately -50 mV and was present only at potentials negative to this. With hyperpolarizing voltage-clamp steps, PH neurons exhibited a slow inward current relaxation. The properties of this conductance were consistent with the cationic, nonselective current, Ih Bath-applied 5-HT augmented Ih. Extracellular CsCI blocked both Ih and the inward current produced by 5-HT. In addition, forskolin, isobutylmethylxanthine, and 8-bromo-CAMP mimicked the inward current seen with 5-HT. The 5-HT1 agonist 5-carboxamidotryptamine produced a similar inward current. We conclude that 5-HT excites PH neurons by augmenting Ih, probably through receptor-mediated stimulation of adenylate cyclase. As Ih is found in many types of neurons, this mechanism may be a common mode of regulating cell excitability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1535-1540
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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