Functional organization of the dorsal raphe efferent system with special consideration of nitrergic cell groups

Rani K. Vasudeva, Rick C.S. Lin, Kimberly L. Simpson, Barry D. Waterhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The serotonin (5HT) system of the brain is involved in many CNS functions including sensory perception, stress responses and psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Of the nine 5HT nuclei located in the mammalian brain, the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) has the most extensive forebrain connectivity and is implicated in the manifestation of stress-related psychological disturbances. Initial investigations of DRN efferent connections failed to acknowledge the rostrocaudal and mediolateral organization of the nucleus or its neurochemical heterogeneity. More recent studies have focused on the non-5HT contingent of DRN cells and have revealed an intrinsic intranuclear organization of the DRN which has specific implications for sensory signal processing and stress responses. Of particular interest are spatially segregated subsets of nitric oxide producing neurons that are activated by stressors and that have unique efferent projection fields. In this regard, both the midline and lateral wing subregions of the DRN have emerged as prominent loci for future investigation of nitric oxide function and modulation of sensory- and stressor-related signals in the DRN and coinciding terminal fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-293
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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