• Maria G. Belvisi
  • Jonathan K. Ward
  • Alyson J. Fox
Part of the Respiratory Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy book series (RPP)


Approximately 100 years ago a substance was found in serum that evoked powerful contractile responses in the smooth muscle of various organs. However, it was only in the 1940s that scientists succeeded in isolating this serum-derived vasoconstrictor factor which was released from platelets during the clotting of blood. In 1948 serotonin was isolated from serum and identified chemically as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) [1]. Independently, investigators in Italy were characterising a substance found in high concentrations in chromaffin cells of the intestinal mucosa. This material also seemed to contract smooth muscle especially that of the gastrointestinal tract and this substance was termed enteramine [2]. Finally, it was suggested and confirmed that enteramine and 5-HT were in fact the same substance [3].


Airway Smooth Muscle Neuroepithelial Body Airway Smooth Muscle Tone Human Bronchial Smooth Muscle Airway Nerve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria G. Belvisi
    • 1
  • Jonathan K. Ward
    • 1
  • Alyson J. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic MedicineRoyal Brompton National Heart and Lung InstituteLondonUK

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