In the turkey, exogenous serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) increases prolactin (PRL) secretion by acting through the dopaminergic (DAergic) system. In the present study, infusion of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist, (R)(-)-DOI hydrochloride (DOI), into the third ventricle stimulates PRL secretion, whereas the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, (+/-)-8-OH-DPAT hydrobromide (DPAT), inhibits PRL secretion. Using the immediate-early gene, c-fos, as an indicator of neuronal activity, in situ hybridization histochemistry showed preferential c-fos co-localization within tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive neurons (the rate limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) in the areas of the nucleus preopticus medialis (POM) and the nucleus premammillaris (PMM), in response to DPAT and DOI, respectively. To clarify the involvement of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2C receptors in PRL regulation, their mRNA expression was determined on hypothalamic tissue sections from birds in different reproductive stages. A significant difference in 5-HT1A receptor was observed, with the POM of hypoprolactinemic short day and photorefractory birds showing the highest expression. 5-HT2C receptors mRNA did not change during the reproductive cycle. The data presented support the notion that DA neurons in the PMM and POM mediate the stimulatory and inhibitory effects of 5-HT, respectively, on PRL secretion and the 5-HTergic system can both stimulate and inhibit PRL secretion.
- Serotonin receptor
- Vasoactive intestinal peptide