Psychedelic Information Theory

Shamanism in the Age of Reason


5-Hydroxytryptamine2A serotonin receptors in the primate cerebral cortex: Possible site of action of hallucinogenic and antipsychotic drugs in pyramidal cell apical dendrites

Jakab RL, Goldman-Rakic PS; PNAS January 20, 1998 vol. 95 no. 2 735-740

To identify the cortical sites where 5-hydroxytryptamine2A (5-HT2A) serotonin receptors respond to the action of hallucinogens and atypical antipsychotic drugs, we have examined the cellular and subcellular distribution of these receptors in the cerebral cortex of macaque monkeys (with a focus on prefrontal areas) by using light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical techniques. 5-HT2A receptor immunoreactivity was detected in all cortical layers, among which layers II and III and layers V and VI were intensely stained, and layer IV was weakly labeled. The majority of the receptor-labeled cells were pyramidal neurons and the most intense immunolabeling was consistently confined to their parallelly aligned proximal apical dendrites that formed two intensely stained bands above and below layer IV. In double-label experiments, 5-HT2A label was found in calbindin D28k-positive, nonphosphorylated-neurofilament-positive, and immuno-negative pyramidal cells, suggesting that probably all pyramidal cells express 5-HT2A receptors. 5-HT2A label was also found in large- and medium-size interneurons, some of which were immuno-positive for calbindin. 5-HT2A receptor label was also associated with axon terminals. These findings reconcile the data on the receptor’s cortical physiology and localization by (i) establishing that 5-HT2A receptors are located postsynaptically and presynaptically, (ii) demonstrating that pyramidal neurons constitute the major 5-HT2A-receptor-expressing cells in the cortex, and (iii) supporting the view that the apical dendritic field proximal to the pyramidal cell soma is the “hot spot” for 5-HT2A-receptor-mediated physiological actions relevant to normal and “psychotic” functional states of the cerebral cortex.

Web Resource: www.pnas.org

Keywords: 5-HT2A receptors, pyramidal neurons, apical dendrites