Environment rapidly upregulates serotonin 2A receptor expression via immediate early gene Egr3

X. Zhao, K. T. Meyers, K. K. Marballi, A. M. Maple, P. Kang, M. Palner, A. Overgaard, A. L. Gallitano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serotonin 2A receptors (5-HT2ARs) mediate the effects of hallucinogenic drugs and antipsychotic medications, and are reduced in schizophrenia patients’ brains. However, how 5-HT2AR expression is regulated remains poorly understood. We show that 5-HT2ARs are rapidly upregulated in the mouse frontal cortex (FC) in response to an environmental stimulus, sleep deprivation. This induction requires the immediate early gene transcription factor early growth response 3 (Egr3). Further, EGR3 binds to the Htr2a promoter in the FC in vivo, and drives reporter construct expression in vitro via two Htr2a promoter binding sites. These findings suggest that EGR3 directly regulates FC Htr2a expression in response to physiologic stimuli, providing a mechanism by which environment rapidly alters levels of a brain receptor that mediates symptoms, and treatment, of mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - May 10 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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