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The purpose of the present study was to examine the synaptogenesis in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) in Wistar rats (n = 8-10 for each time point) in the end of prenatal (days 19 and 20) and early postnatal (days 5 and 20) periods, and to determine the role of serotonin in the formation of synaptic contacts during this period of development. It is shown that at prenatal dayl9 neuropil started to develop in DRN -d, DRN -v and DRN -1 in control (intact) animals, while the synaptic contacts appeared on cell processes. At prenatal day20 synaptic contacts were detected for the first time on neuronal cell body surface. The density of synaptophysin-positive granules on both the cell processes in the neuropil, and neuronal cell bodies was sharply and considerably increased by postnatal day 5. Subsequently, until postnatal day 20, the augmentation of their density was insignificant. Serotonin deficiency in a second half of prenatal development, induced by a single injection of parachlorophenylalanine to female rats at gestational day 16 resulted in a significant delay of synaptogenesis in DRN of their offspring in both prenatal and early postnatal periods. With the increase of postnatal age the density synaptic contacts was unequally augmented in various parts of DRN: in DNR-d it approached the control level, while in DRN-v and DRN-1 it remained significantly reduced. The results received suggest serotonin participation in synaptogenesis in DRN.


L I Khozhai, V A Otellin. Synaptogenesis in the dorsal raphe nucleus of rat medulla oblongata in serotonin deficiency]. Morfologii͡a (Saint Petersburg, Russia). 2012;142(6):20-4

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PMID: 23659034

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