Immunolabelling of the 5-HT3B receptor subunit in the central and peripheral nervous systems in rodents

Edith Doucet, Alban Latrémolière, Michèle Darmon, Michel Hamon, Michel B. Emerit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The 5-HT3 receptor is a member of the superfamily of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels involved in fast synaptic signalling and in modulation of neurotransmitter release. As for many other channel receptors, the electrophysiological properties and the functions of the 5-HT3 receptor are determined by subunit composition of the pentameric channel. Because in situ hybridization did not allow the detection of mRNA encoding the 5-HT3B subunit in the rodent central nervous system, or in nearly half of the neurons expressing the 5-HT3A subunit in peripheral ganglia, it has been suggested that subunit composition could define at least two 5-HT3 receptor-expressing neuronal populations. In order to challenge this hypothesis, we have developed polyclonal antibodies directed against a portion of the second intracytoplasmic loop of the mouse 5-HT 3B subunit. Immunohistochemical analysis in the mouse and the rat revealed that immunolabelling was most prominent in peripheral ganglia, particularly in trigeminal ganglia (TG). In rats, transection or ligature of the infraorbital nerve resulted in a pronounced accumulation of immunoreactive material at the proximal side of the lesioned nerve, and an up-regulation of both subunits in 5-HT3 receptor-expressing TG neurons. Surprisingly, nearly 100% of neurons expressing 5-HT3A subunits were also labelled by anti-5-HT3B antibodies. We also detected 5-HT3B immunoreactivity in the rat hippocampal CA1 layer and in scattered cortical neurons, indicating that detection of 5-HT3 subunit mRNA by in situ hybridization might not provide really complete mapping of heteromeric 5-HT 3A/B vs. homomeric 5-HT3A receptors in the peripheral and central nervous systems in rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-366
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • Ligand-gated ion channels
  • Nociception
  • Peripheral ganglia
  • Serotoninergic receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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