Serotonin pp 299-318 | Cite as

Effect of Serotonin and Melatonin on the Electrophysiological Behaviour of the Plasma Membrane

  • G. Nikitopoulou-Maratou
  • E. Georgatou
  • P. A. Molyvdas
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 133)


Although there is a great interest in 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) as a neurotransmitter, rather little is known of its influence on mammalian cell membranes. Measurements of membrane conductance and ion fluxes have been carried out mostly in the neural cells of invertebrates1, 2. Investigators studying receptors in the brain are faced with the problem that these receptors are not readily accessible. Changes in the rate of neuronal discharge after intraarterial, intraventricular or microelectrophoretic injection of 5-HT in the vicinity of the serotonergic neurons have been taken to indicate an inhibitory or facilitatory effect. Its predominant effect on the neuronal function of mammals seems to be inhibitory. However, a facilitatory effect has also been found in many parts of the CNS3–8. Melatonin is possibly the only active, biological product of serotonin, affecting certain hypothalamic areas controlling mainly neuroendocrinic functions9–11. Its.overall effect is opposite to that of serotonin, at least in most of the functions studied so far12–14 However, experimental work on the effect of melatonin on the membrane is practically nonexistent. In the present work we studied the effects of serotonin and melatonin on the electrophysiological behaviour of cardiac cell membrane of dogs.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Nikitopoulou-Maratou
    • 1
  • E. Georgatou
    • 1
  • P. A. Molyvdas
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpt. of Physiology, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthens 609Greece

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