The neuromodulator serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) has been associated with mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and impulsive violence. To define the contribution of 5-HT receptor subtypes to behavior, mutant mice lacking the 5-HT1B receptor were generated by homologous recombination. These mice did not exhibit any obvious developmental or behavioral defects. However, the hyperlocomotor effect of the 5-HT1A/1B agonist RU24969 was absent in mutant mice, indicating that this effect is mediated by 5-HT1B receptors. Moreover, when confronted with an intruder, mutant mice attacked the intruder faster and more intensely than did wild-type mice, suggesting the participation of 5-HT1B receptors in aggressive behavior.

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