Intense Activity of the Raphe Spinal Pathway Depresses Motor Activity via a Serotonin Dependent Mechanism

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Motor fatigue occurring during prolonged physical activity has both peripheral and central origins. It was previously demonstrated that the excitability of motoneurons was decreased when a spillover of serotonin could activate extrasynaptic 5-HT1A receptors at the axon initial segment (AIS) of motoneurons. Here we investigated the impact of massive synaptic release of serotonin on motor behavior in an integrated preparation of the adult turtle performing fictive scratching behaviors. We found that a prolonged electrical stimulation of the raphe spinal pathway induced a reversible inhibition of the motor behavior that lasted several tens of seconds. The effect disappeared when the spinal cord was perfused with an antagonist for 5-HT1A receptors. By demonstrating a direct impact of serotonin on motor behavior, we suggest a central role of this monoamine behind central fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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