The activity of the serotonergic 5-HT1A receptor is modulated by voltage and sodium levels

Merav Tauber, Yair Ben Chaim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


G protein-coupled receptors are known to play a key role in many cellular signal transduction processes, including those mediating serotonergic signaling in the nervous system. Several factors have been shown to regulate the activity of these receptors, including membrane potential and the concentration of sodium ions. Whether voltage and sodium regulate the activity of serotonergic receptors is unknown. Here, we used Xenopus oocytes as an expression system to examine the effects of voltage and of sodium ions on the potency of one subtype of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) receptor, the 5-HT1A receptor. We found that the potency of 5-HT in activating the receptor is voltage dependent and that it is higher at resting potential than under depolarized conditions. Furthermore, we found that removal of extracellular Na+ resulted in a decrease of 5-HT potency toward the 5-HT1A receptor and that a conserved aspartate in transmembrane domain 2 is crucial for this effect. Our results suggest that this allosteric effect of Na+ does not underlie the voltage dependence of this receptor. We propose that the characterization of modulatory factors that regulate this receptor may contribute to our future understanding of various physiological functions mediated by serotonergic transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101978
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Animals
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Oocytes
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A/genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Serotonin/metabolism
  • Sodium/chemistry
  • Xenopus laevis


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