Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 305, Issue 2, pp 177–186

Serotonin and serotonin-like substances as regulators of early embryogenesis and morphogenesis

  • Gennady A. Buznikov
  • Wayne H. Lambert
  • Jean M. Lauder

DOI: 10.1007/s004410100408

Cite this article as:
Buznikov, G.A., Lambert, W.H. & Lauder, J.M. Cell Tissue Res (2001) 305: 177. doi:10.1007/s004410100408


The problem of pre-nervous neurotransmitter systems arose from studies carried out on different groups of invertebrates and vertebrates in the late 1950s to early 1960s. These investigations were motivated by an hypothesis formulated by K. S. Koshtoyants concerning the similarity between pre-nervous control processes and neuronal functions. Here, we review new data related to the embryogenetic and morphogenetic functions of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-HT-like substances in early embryos of sea urchins, mouse, and other species. Accumulating evidence across animal phyla indicates that 5-HT, together with other classical neurotransmitters, regulates basic developmental processes, including cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, and morphogenesis. Future investigations of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying phylogenetically old functions of neurotransmitters could provide new insights into the evolutionary emergence of the vertebrate nervous system.

Serotonergic regulators Acetylcholine Cholinergic receptors Sea urchin Mollusc Mouse

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gennady A. Buznikov
    • 1
  • Wayne H. Lambert
    • 2
  • Jean M. Lauder
    • 3
  1. 1.N. K. Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, RussiaRussia
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USAUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7090, USAUSA