Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 117–125 | Cite as

Serotonin in pain and analgesia

Actions in the periphery
  • Claudia Sommer


The purpose of this article is to summarize recent findings on the role of serotonin in pain processing in the peripheral nervous system. Serotonin (5-hydroxtryptamine [5-HT]) is present in central and peripheral serotonergic neurons, it is released from platelets and mast cells after tissue injury, and it exerts algesic and analgesic effects depending on the site of action and the receptor subtype. After nerve injury, the 5-HT content in the lesioned nerve increases. 5-HT receptors of the 5-HT3 and 5-HT2A subtype are present on C-fibers. 5-HT, acting in combination with other inflammatory mediators, may ectopically excite and sensitize afferent nerve fibers, thus contributing to peripheral sensitization and hyperalgesia in inflammation and nerve injury.

Index Entries

Serotonin pain hyperalgesia peripheral nerve inflammation neuropathy 


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© Humana Press Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Sommer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of WürzburgGermany

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