The postnatal development of the subcommissural organ (SCO) glycoprotein secretion in form of Reissner's fiber and the putative control of the serotonin innervation upon the SCO activity were examined by immunohistochemistry in the semi-desert rodent, Meriones shawi. Abundant SCO secretory material and numerous serotoninergic fibers reaching the SCO were observed in newborns meriones. An increase of both secretory material and serotonin fibres density inside the SCO was observed during postnatal period and into adulthood. Neurotoxic destruction with 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine of the SCO serotonin input in the adult or the inhibition of serotonin synthesis by para-chlorophenylalanine at different postnatal ages, resulted in a decrease of the intensity of SCO Reissner's fiber immunolabelling suggesting a reduction in the SCO secretory material. This result might reflect either an inhibition of the synthesis or a stimulation of release of secretory material. These data suggest that serotonin innervation could be precociously involved in the regulation of the merione SCO secretion. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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