In vitro regulation of serotonin transporter activity by protein kinase A and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the prefrontal cortex of rats

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Journal Article

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Dihydro-β-erythrodine; nAChR; Nicotine; PKA; Prefrontal cortex; SERT


We investigated the effect of in vitro exposure to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), agonists, antagonists, and protein kinase A (PKA) modulators on the activity of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in prefrontocortical (PFC) synaptosomes. The plasma membrane SERT is an active transport mechanism specific for serotonin. Receptors and second messengers capable of altering transporter activity would be expected to have profound effects on serotonergic neurotransmission and on functions involving serotonergic input, such as cognition, anxiety, and mood. Our data suggest that activation of nAChRs, quite likely via PKA, increase the activity of the SERT in the PFC and, thereby, can alter 5-HT levels in a region important in the behavioral effects of nicotine and 5-HT. Nicotine at 4 μM increased [3H]5-HT uptake by 75%. Because the nAChR antagonists mecamylamine and dihydro-β-erythrodine (DHβE) both decreased [3H]5-HT uptake into synaptosomes, it appeared that the SERT might be tonically activated by acetylcholine present within our synaptosomal preparations. Blocking PKA significantly decreased [3H]5-HT, while stimulation of PKA activity significantly increased the uptake. A 66% decrease compared with control was produced by 100 μM Rp-cAMP, and a 41% increase in 5-HT uptake over control was observed with 30 μM Sp-cAMPs. Furthermore, the enhancement in uptake produced by 4 μM nicotine was inhibited in a time-dependent fashion by preincubation with 10 μM Rp-cAMP. A better understanding of the influence of the cholinergic system and the receptors involved in the trafficking of SERT would help clarify the important relationship between the cholinergic and serotonergic systems and the role these systems play in behavior. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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