Rationale: It has been proposed that the serotonergic pathway that connects the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) to the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG) is implicated in the regulation of escape, a behavior that has been related to panic. Objectives: We further evaluated this hypothesis by investigating whether intra-DRN injection of the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY-100635 changes the escape response of rats submitted to the elevated T-maze. This test also measures inhibitory avoidance, which has been associated with generalized anxiety disorder. We also investigated whether the 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors in the DPAG mediate the behavioral consequences induced by the injection of WAY-100635 into the DRN. Results: Intra-DRN injection of WAY-100635 facilitated inhibitory avoidance, while impairing escape. The same effect was obtained after intra-DRN injection of the glutamate receptor agonist kainic acid. Preadministration of WAY-100635 into the DPAG counteracted the effect induced by intra-DRN injection of WAY-100635 and of kainic acid on escape, but not on inhibitory avoidance. Preadministration of the preferential 5-HT2A receptor antagonist ketanserin into the DPAG abolished the effects of intra-DRN injection of WAY-100635 on both elevated T-maze tasks. Conclusion: The results are indicative that 5-HT1A autoreceptors in the DRN are under tonic inhibitory influence by endogenous 5-HT. The effects of 5-HT release in the DPAG after intra-DRN injection of WAY-100635 and kainic acid on inhibitory avoidance and escape involve different 5-HT receptor subtypes. Whereas 5-HT2A receptors in the DPAG seem to mediate the effect of 5-HT on both behaviors, 5-HT1A receptors are only involved in the regulation of escape.