Abstract:The brain 5-HT1A receptor system in male wild house mice selected for high and low offensive aggression was investigated by autoradiographic analysis of in situ hybridization and radioligand binding. In high-aggressive mice, characterized by a short attack latency, the rise in plasma corticosterone concentration during the early dark phase was reduced. At that time the level of 5-HT1A mRNA in the dorsal hippocampus (dentate gyrus and CA1) was twice the amount measured in low-aggressive mice that had long attack latency and high plasma corticosterone level. Increased postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptor radioligand binding was found in dentate gyrus, CA1, lateral septum, and frontal cortex. No difference in ligand binding was found for the 5-HT1A autoreceptor on cell bodies in the dorsal raphe nucleus. In conclusion, genetic selection for high offensive aggression co-selects for reduced (circadian peak) level in plasma corticosterone and increased postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptor number in limbic and cortical regions.