5-HT7 receptors in Alzheimer's disease

Maite Solas, Debby Van Dam, Jana Janssens, U. Ocariz, Yannick Vermeiren, Peter Paul De Deyn, Maria J. Ramirez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Even though the involvement of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) and its receptors in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is widely accepted, data on the expression and the role of 5-HT7 receptors in AD is relatively limited. Therefore, the objective of the present work was to study the expression of serotonergic 5-HT7 receptors in postmortem samples of AD brains and correlate it with neurotransmitter levels, cognition and behavior. The study population consisted of clinically well-characterized and neuropathologically confirmed AD patients (n = 42) and age-matched control subjects (n = 18). Reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and high-performance liquid chromatography were performed on Brodmann area (BA) 7, BA10, BA22, BA24, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus and cerebellum to measure mRNA levels of 5-HT7 receptors (HTR7), as well as the concentrations of various monoamine neurotransmitters and their metabolites. Decreased levels of HTR7 mRNA were observed in BA10. A significant association was observed between HTR7 levels in BA10 and BEHAVE-AD cluster B (hallucinations) (rs(28) = 0.444, P < 0.05). In addition, a negative correlation was observed between HTR7 levels in BA10 and both MHPG concentrations in this brain region (rs(45) = -0.311; P < 0.05), and DOPAC levels in the amygdala (rs(42) = -0.311; P < 0.05). Quite surprisingly, no association was found between HTR7 levels and cognitive status. Altogether, this study supports the notion of the involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in psychotic symptoms in AD, suggesting the interest of testing antagonist acting at this receptor to specifically treat psychotic symptoms in this illness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105185
JournalNeurochemistry International
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • 5-HT7 receptors
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Frontal cortex
  • Monoamine content
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • Postmortem samples


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