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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Nov 2019 - 22 Nov 2019

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Nov 15

Int J Mol Sci



An Association of Serotonin with Pain Disorders and Its Modulation by Estrogens.


Paredes S, Cantillo S, Candido KD, Knezevic N N
Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Nov 15; 20(22).
PMID: 31731606.


Ovarian hormones play an important role in pain perception, and are responsible, at least in part, for the pain threshold differences between the sexes. Modulation of pain and its perception are mediated by neurochemical changes in several pathways, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous systems. One of the most studied neurotransmitters related to pain disorders is serotonin. Estrogen can modify serotonin synthesis and metabolism, promoting a general increase in its tonic effects. Studies evaluating the relationship between serotonin and disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraine, and other types of headache suggest a clear impact of this neurotransmitter, thereby increasing the interest in serotonin as a possible future therapeutic target. This literature review describes the importance of substances such as serotonin and ovarian hormones in pain perception and illustrates the relationship between those two, and their direct influence on the presentation of the aforementioned pain-related conditions. Additionally, we review the pathways and receptors implicated in each disorder. Finally, the objective was to stimulate future pharmacological research to experimentally evaluate the potential of serotonin modulators and ovarian hormones as therapeutic agents to regulate pain in specific subpopulations.