Serotonin metabolism and serotonergic receptors in Norway rats selected for low aggressiveness to man

Nina K. Popova, Alexander V. Kulikov, Ella M. Nikulina, Eugenia Y. Kozlachkova, Galina B. Maslova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Selection of Norway rats (24–27 generations) for low aggressiveness to man resulting in the loss of aggressive responding to handling markedly influences the brain serotonergic system. In “domesticated” Norway rats levels of serotonin in the midbrain and hypothalamus and 5‐hydroxyindole acetic acid in the hypothalamus were higher than in non‐selected aggressive rats. The activity of the key enzyme in serotonin biosynthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase, in midbrain of rats with genetically determined lack of aggressiveness to man was higher than in aggressive animals, although there was no difference in tryptophan hydroxylase activity in the hypothalamus. Bmax and KD of [3H]spiperone‐specific binding in frontal cortex membranes were increased in tame rats. No significant differences in Bmax and KD were found between “domesticated” and aggressive rats in [3H]serotonin binding in the frontal cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalAggressive behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes



  • 5‐HT receptors
  • defensive behavior
  • domestication
  • tryptophan hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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