• Zygmunt L. Kruk
  • Christopher J. Pycock


5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) and in the myenteric plexus of the gut. High concentrations are found in the enterochromafin cells in the lining of the alimentary canal and in the blood platelets. 5-HT is released from platelets at sites of tissue injury, and 5-HT in the systemic circulation (plasma) has a wide range of effects on nerve terminals and blood vessels which do not have a 5-HT innervation. The physiology and pharmacology of 5-HT is complex, for in addition to being a neurotransmitter it has local hormone or paracrine functions.


Raphe Nucleus Tryptophan Hydroxylase Neuronal Uptake Presynaptic Nerve Terminal Diacyl Glycerol 
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Further Reading

  1. Andrews, P.L.R., Rapeport, W.G. and Sanger, G.J. (1988) Neuropharmacology of emesis induced by anti-cancer therapy. TIPS, 9, No. 9.Google Scholar
  2. Cooper, S.J. (1989) Drugs interacting with 5-HT systems show promise for treatment of eating disorders. TIPS, 10, No. 2.Google Scholar
  3. Fozard, J.R. and Gray, J.A. (1986) 5-HT1c receptor activation: a key step in the initiation of migraine? TIPS, 10, No. 8.Google Scholar
  4. Hartig, P.R. (1986) Molecular biology of 5-HT receptors. TIPS, 10, No. 2.Google Scholar
  5. Hoyer, D. and Middlemiss, D.N. (1989) Species difference in the pharmacology of terminal 5-HT autoreceptors in mammalian brain. TIPS, 10, No. 4.Google Scholar
  6. Peroutka, S.J. (1988) 5-Hydroxytryptamine receptor subtypes: molecular, biochemical and physiological characterization. TINS, 11, No. 11.Google Scholar
  7. Saxena, P.R. and Ferrari, M.D. (1989) 5-HT1-like receptor agonists and the pathophysiology of migraine. TIPS, 10, No. 8.Google Scholar
  8. Tricklebank, M.D. (1989) Interactions between dopamine and 5-HT3 receptors suggest new treatment for psychosis and drug addiction. TIPS, 10, No. 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Zygmunt L. Kruk and Christopher J. Pycock 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zygmunt L. Kruk
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Pycock
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology Queen Mary and Westfield CollegeUniversity of LondonUK
  2. 2.Derriford HospitalPlymouthUK

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