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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 03




The Role of Serotonin Neurotransmission in Gastrointestinal Tract and Pharmacotherapy.


Guzel T, Mirowska-Guzel D
Molecules. 2022 Mar 03; 27(5).
PMID: 35268781.


5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) is a neurotransmitter in both the central nervous system and peripheral structures, acting also as a hormone in platelets. Although its concentration in the gut covers >90% of all organism resources, serotonin is mainly known as a neurotransmitter that takes part in the pathology of mental diseases. Serotonin modulates not only CNS neurons, but also pain transmission and platelet aggregation. In the periphery, 5-HT influences muscle motility in the gut, bronchi, uterus, and vessels directly and through neurons. Serotonin synthesis starts from hydroxylation of orally delivered tryptophan, followed by decarboxylation. Serotonin acts via numerous types of receptors and clinically plays a role in several neural, mental, and other chronic disorders, such as migraine, carcinoid syndrome, and some dysfunctions of the alimentary system. 5-HT acts as a paracrine hormone and growth factor. 5-HT receptors in both the brain and gut are targets for drugs modifying serotonin neurotransmission. The aim of the present article is to review the 5-HT receptors in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to determine the role of serotonin in GI physiology and pathology, including known GI diseases and the role of serotonin in GI pharmacotherapy.