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The study investigated the effects of a 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) lesion of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) on anxiety-related behaviour and neurochemical correlates in rats. Behaviour was assessed in the elevated plus maze test (X-maze). Lesion of the DRN reduced markedly 5-HT levels in projection areas by at least 60%. Destruction of the serotonergic neurons in the DRN changed neither anxiety-related behaviour on the elevated plus maze, nor aversion-induced 5-HT release in the brain. Exposure of the lesioned rats to the elevated plus maze increased extracellular 5-HT (148%) in the ventral hippocampus similar as in sham-lesioned (162%) and non-lesioned (160%) controls. The results demonstrate that lesioning of 5-HT neurons in the DRN does not abolish totally the control of anxiety-related behaviour.