Kumar J, Rajkumar R, Lee L, Dawe G (2016) Nucleus incertus contributes to an anxiogenic effect of buspirone in rats: Involvement of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology 110:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.07.019
Summary: The nucleus incertus (NI) is involved in stress and anxiety responses. The NI is a cluster of GABAergic neurons in the brainstem, and coexpresses CRF, 5-HT1A and D2 receptors. Buspirone is a partial agonist of 5-HT1A receptors, an antagonist of D2 receptors, and activates the NI. Buspirone is an anti-anxiety drug, but preclinical studies showed that it induces anxiety at high doses. To see if the NI is necessary for the anxiogenic effects of high doses of buspirone, rats were bilaterally injected with 86 ng of CRF-SAP (Cat. #IT-13) into the NI. Blank-SAP (Cat. #IT-21) was used as a control. NI lesioning alone had an anxiogenic effect in several anxiety screening tests compared to sham-lesioned rats, which suggests that the NI reduces anxiety physiologically. Lesioning with CRF-SAP reduced the anxiogenic effects of intra-NI injections of buspirone. No significant difference in the anxiety screening tests resulted from injecting quinpiole, a D2 agonist, which suggests that the 5HT1A receptors in the NI are involved in the anxiogenic effects of buspirone.