Impulsive and aggressive behaviors are both modulated by serotonergic signaling, specifically through the serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR). 5-HT1BR knockout mice show increased aggression and impulsivity, and 5-HT1BR polymorphisms are associated with aggression and drug addiction in humans. To dissect the mechanisms by which the 5-HT1BR affects these phenotypes, we developed a mouse model to spatially and temporally regulate 5-HT1BR expression. Our results demonstrate that forebrain 5-HT1B heteroreceptors expressed during an early postnatal period contribute to the development of the neural systems underlying adult aggression. However, distinct heteroreceptors acting during adulthood are involved in mediating impulsivity. Correlating with the impulsivity, dopamine inthe nucleus accumbens is elevated in the absence of 5-HT1BRs and normalized following adult rescue of the receptor. Overall, these data show that while adolescent expression of 5-HT1BRs influences aggressive behavior, a distinct set of 5-HT1B receptors modulates impulsive behavior during adulthood. Nautiyal etal. show that serotonin 1B receptors modulate aggressive and impulsive behavior through distinct neural circuits. Adolescent expression of forebrain heteroreceptors influences aggressive behavior, while a separate population affects impulsive behavior during adulthood.
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