Understanding Serotonin Catabolism

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a biogenic amine responsible for a variety of tasks in the nervous system.  5-HT is implicated in learning and memory in the central nervous system (CNS) and emesis and peristaltic reflex in the enteric nervous system (ENS), and even can act as a trophic factor during nervous system development. Several organs serve as targets for 5-HT, but the fate of 5-HT in target tissues, let alone the physiological effects of the resulting metabolites, has not been fully ascertained.  We are characterizing the products of 5-HT and transformed 5-HT, as well as their distribution patterns in a range of models.  Studies include changes in 5-HT levels, new 5-HT pathways and information on its catabolism during disease.  

An electropherogram taken with the wavelength-resolved CE-LINF of a rat ilium (part of the gut) from (a) a control animal, and (b) a serotonin syndrome-induced animal. Red areas indicate high fluorescence intensity. Figure adapted from Squires et al., J. Neurochem. 103, 2007, 174-180

Relevant Publications:
N.G. Hatcher, X. Zhang, J.N. Stuart, L.L. Moroz, J.V. Sweedler, R. Gillette, 5-HT and 5-HT-SO4, but not tryptophan or 5-HIAA levels in single feeding neurons track animal hunger state, J. Neurochem. 104, 2008, 1358-1363.

L.N. Squires, K.N. Talbot, S.S. Rubakhin, J.V. Sweedler, Serotonin catabolism in the central and enteric nervous systems of rats upon induction of serotonin syndrome, J. Neurochem. 103, 2007, 174-180.