Serotonin stimulates mitochondrial transport in hippocampal neurons.


Chen, Sigeng; Owens, Geoffrey C; Crossin, Kathryn L; Edelman, David B

Publication Year 2007
Journal Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences
Pages 472-483
Volume 36
Issue 4
PMID 17904380.0
DOI 10.1016/j.mcn.2007.08.004

Axonal transport of mitochondria is critical for proper neuronal function. However, little is known about the extracellular signals that regulate this process. In the present study, we show that the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT) greatly enhances mitochondrial movement in the axons of rat hippocampal neurons in vitro. Administration of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist inhibited mitochondrial movement, whereas addition of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, promoted mitochondrial movement. 5-HT receptors are known to activate the Akt/Protein kinase B pathway. Consistent with this, directional mitochondrial movement was almost completely blocked by a specific Akt inhibitor. Moreover, an inhibitor of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK3beta), a kinase whose activity is blocked by Akt-mediated phosphorylation, promoted mitochondrial movement. These findings show that 5-HT1A receptor activation stimulates mitochondrial movement in hippocampal neurons by inhibiting GSK3beta activity via Akt. Our findings suggest that 5-HT may mediate the redistribution of energy sources within responsive neurons, a possibility that has significant implications for understanding the global biological effects of this important neuromodulator.