Sculpting the visual map: The distribution and function of serotonin-1A and serotonin-1B receptors in the optic tectum of the frog

Christopher M. Butt, Bing Zhao, Marilyn J. Duncan, Elizabeth A. Debski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Agonists of serotonin (5-HT)-1 receptors modulate the synaptic strength of the connection between retinal ganglion cells and neurons of the frog optic tectum in brain slices (Brain Res. 1998;781:167-181). We have now used autoradiographic receptor binding techniques to determine the location of 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B binding sites in the laminated optic tectum. 5-HT1A binding sites, as labeled with [3H]8-hydroxy-dipropylaminotetralin (8-OH-DPAT), were highest in the superficial, retinorecipient layers of the tectum, intermediate in layers 6 and 7 and low in the remaining layers. Binding densities in all of these layers were unaffected by optic nerve lesion. 5-HT1B binding sites were visualized using [125I]iodocyanopindolol (ICYP). Binding densities were highest in the plexiform layers 5 and 7 and intermediate in layers 6 and 8. Binding sites were present at low levels in layer 9; however, optic nerve lesion resulted in a strong upregulation of these sites in this layer. Pharmacological manipulation of receptor activation resulted in changes in the activity-dependent visual map that is created at the tectum by retinal ganglion cell terminals. Chronic treatment of the tectum with SB-224289, a selective antagonist of 5-HT1B receptors, disrupted the topographic map. In contrast, exposure to WAY-100635, a selective antagonist of 5-HT1A receptors, refined it. We conclude that both 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors are present in the adult frog tectum and that changes in their activation levels can produce changes in retinotectal transmission levels that drive visual plasticity in opposite directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 22 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Eye Institute (EY11913), the National Science Foundation (IBN-9514614), the National Institute on Aging (AG13418) and the National Institute of Mental Health (5T32MH19917).


  • Amphibia
  • Neuromodulation
  • Topographic map
  • Visual plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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