Epigenetic factors differentially influence postnatal maturation of serotonin (5-HT) innervation in cerebral cortex of gerbils: Interaction of rearing conditions and early methamphetamine challenge

  • Neddens J
  • Bagorda F
  • Busche A
 et al. 
  • 21


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 31


    Citations of this article.


The effects of disjunctive environmental deprivation combined with a single methamphetamine (MA) challenge on postnatal maturation of the serotonin (5-HT) innervation pattern in cerebral cortex of gerbils were studied. Gerbils were assigned to either enriched (ER) or impoverished (IR) environmental rearing conditions. On postnatal day 110, 5-HT was immunostained. The 5-HT innervation pattern of the brain was qualitatively evaluated and provided in graphic form. The densities of 5-HT fibres were quantified in areas of prefrontal, insular, frontal, parietal, and entorhinal cortices of the right hemisphere using digital image analysis. The early MA challenge led to an overshoot of the fibre density in medial and orbital prefrontal cortex and entorhinal cortex of ER animals. IR animals mostly resisted MA effects except of a restraint of the innervation of the insular cortex. In comparison to enriched rearing, restricted rearing caused overshoot maturation of 5-HT innervation in insular and entorhinal cortices. The present data provide evidence for a region-specific postnatal vulnerability of the maturing 5-HT innervation, namely in association cortices. In contrast, both sensory and motor cortices showed no significant changes at all. The results are discussed in context with previously presented findings of alterations of the cortical dopamine innervation depending on both epigenetic factors. In conclusion, both experimental variables together give new insight into raphe-cortical plasticity that may contribute to a better understanding of the role of 5-HT fibre systems in structural maturation of the cortex. Postnatal environment may be involved in individual vulnerability of a variety of mental disorders during adolescence and aging. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Development
  • Environment
  • Epigenetics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Monoamines
  • Neuroplasticity

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • J. Neddens

  • F. Bagorda

  • A. Busche

  • S. Horstmann

  • G. H. Moll

  • R. R. Dawirs

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free