Etude anatomique et fonctionnelle des contrôles exercés par les récepteurs sérotoninergique2C au sein des ganglions de la base

octobre 2013 Directeur(s) de thèse : Philippe De DEURWAERDERE Résumé de thèse

This work of  integrative neurobiology focuses on the study of the controls exerted by the 5-HT2C receptors in the basal ganglia, a group of subcortical structures involved in the control of motor behavior. 5-HT2C receptors exert three modalities of control over cells of the basal ganglia, including a phasic, tonic and a constitutive control, the latter one being independent of the presence of serotonin (5-HT), the endogenous ligand. Using appropriate pharmacological tools (agonist, antagonist and inverse agonist), we have studied in rats the different controls of 5-HT2C receptors on one motor behavior, the purposeless orofacial movements. We also have studied these controls in the basal ganglia by measuring the expression of the proto-oncogene c-Fos, a marker of change of neuronal activity by determining the firing rate, basal or evoked by cortical stimulations, of neurons located in the output structures, the entopeduncular nucleus (EPN) or the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), using single unit extracellular recordings

My data showed that stimulation or the blockade of the constitutive activity of 5-HT2C receptor induced an increase in abnormal orofacial movements. Anatomical data indicated that the different 5-HT2C controls are expressed in the input structures of the basal ganglia, the striatum and the subthalamic nucleus (STN), with a preferential influence of the constitutive activity in the striatum and nucleus accumbens (NAc). In addition, the phasic control and the constitutive activity extended their control to the output structures of the basal ganglia which could be associated with the emergence of orofacial movements. 5-HT2C controls are influenced by the network activity, in particular the level of dopaminergic (DA) transmission. Indeed, a lesion of DA neurons potentiated behavioral and electrophysiological responses induced by a 5-HT2C agonist by acting in the EPN. The stimulation of D2 receptors induced oral dyskinesia and an increase in electrophysiological responses of the cortico-subthalamo-nigral pathway, and these effects were suppressed by selective 5-HT2C antagonists.

This work brings up elements regarding the distribution and the nature of the diverse controls exerted by 5-HT2C receptors in the basal ganglia. It opens therapeutic perspectives for the use of 5-HT2C antagonists in the treatment of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, these controls are complex and a better understanding of these controls in these regions would permit to apprehend possible treatments using 5-HT and/or 5-HT2C agents.