Adaptive Control of Dorsal Raphe by 5-HT4 in the Prefrontal Cortex Prevents Persistent Hypophagia following Stress

Alexandra Jean, Laetitia Laurent, Sabira Delaunay, Stéphane Doly, Nicole Dusticier, David Linden, Rachael Neve, Luc Maroteaux, André Nieoullon, Valérie Compan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Transient reduced food intake (hypophagia) following high stress could have beneficial effects on longevity, but paradoxically, hypophagia can persist and become anorexia-like behavior. The neural underpinnings of stress-induced hypophagia and the mechanisms by which the brain prevents the transition from transient to persistent hypophagia remain undetermined. In this study, we report the involvement of a network governing goal-directed behavior (decision). This network consists of the ascending serotonergic inputs from the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Specifically, adult restoration of serotonin 4 receptor (5-HT4R) expression in the mPFC rescues hypophagia and specific molecular changes related to depression resistance in the DR (5-HT release elevation, 5-HT1A receptor, and 5-HT transporter reductions) of stressed 5-HT4R knockout mice. The adult mPFC-5-HT4R knockdown mimics the null phenotypes. When mPFC-5-HT4Rs are overexpressed and DR-5-HT1ARs are blocked in the DR, hypophagia following stress persists, suggesting an antidepressant action of early anorexia. Jean et al. report causal relationships between serotonin 4 receptors and stress-induced hypophagia, attributable to specific neural signals of depression resistance in the dorsal raphe nucleus, which protect from early anorexia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-909
Number of pages9
JournalCell reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 24 2017


  • 5-HT transporter
  • 5-HT1A
  • 5-HT4R
  • anorexia
  • appetite
  • brain
  • decision
  • depression
  • dorsal raphe nucleus
  • eating
  • food intake
  • gene transfer
  • hypophagia
  • knockout
  • medial prefrontal cortex
  • nucleus accumbens
  • serotonin
  • serotonin 4 receptors
  • siRNA
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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