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Up-regulation of serotonin receptor 2B mRNA and protein in the peri-infarcted area of aged rats and stroke patients.

Buga, AM and Ciobanu, O and Bădescu, GM and Bogdan, C and Weston, R and Slevin, M and Di Napoli, M and Popa-Wagner, A (2016) Up-regulation of serotonin receptor 2B mRNA and protein in the peri-infarcted area of aged rats and stroke patients. Oncotarget, 7 (14). pp. 17415-17430. ISSN 1949-2553

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Abstract

Despite the fact that a high proportion of elderly stroke patients develop mood disorders, the mechanisms underlying late-onset neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive symptoms have so far received little attention in the field of neurobiology. In rodents, aged animals display depressive symptoms following stroke, whereas young animals recover fairly well. This finding has prompted us to investigate the expression of serotonin receptors 2A and 2B, which are directly linked to depression, in the brains of aged and young rats following stroke. Although the development of the infarct was more rapid in aged rats in the first 3 days after stroke, by day 14 the cortical infarcts were similar in size in both age groups i.e. 45% of total cortical volume in young rats and 55.7% in aged rats. We also found that the expression of serotonin receptor type B mRNA was markedly increased in the perilesional area of aged rats as compared to the younger counterparts. Furthermore, histologically, HTR2B protein expression in degenerating neurons was closely associated with activated microglia both in aged rats and human subjects. Treatment with fluoxetine attenuated the expression of Htr2B mRNA, stimulated post-stroke neurogenesis in the subventricular zone and was associated with an improved anhedonic behavior and an increased activity in the forced swim test in aged animals. We hypothesize that HTR2B expression in the infarcted territory may render degenerating neurons susceptible to attack by activated microglia and thus aggravate the consequences of stroke.

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