Activation of a Habenulo–Raphe Circuit Is Critical for the Behavioral and Neurochemical Consequences of Uncontrollable Stress in the Male Rat
Prior work suggests that inhibition of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) either during exposure to inescapable electric shock (IS) or during later behavioral testing might block the usual behavioral consequences of IS. The 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT was microinjected into the region of the DRN either before exposure to IS or before testing for fear conditioning and escape learning conducted 24 hr later. IS potentiated fear conditioning and interfered with escape performance. These effects were completely prevented by intra-DRN administration of 8-OH-DPAT at either point. Low but not high systemic doses of 8-OH-DPAT had a similar effect, supporting the idea that the effective site of action is presynaptic. The relation between these data and other effects of 8-OH-DPAT is discussed.