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Dev Neurosci. 2003 Mar-Aug;25(2-4):245-56.

The role of serotonin in early cortical development.

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Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, London, UK.


The cerebral cortex is widely innervated by serotonin (5-HT)-containing axons originating from neurons in the raphe nuclei. The early development of this monoamine system in the cortex prompted speculation long ago that it has important functions in cortical maturation and plasticity. Here we review evidence, derived from a plethora of studies and from our recent unpublished work, that supports an important role for 5-HT in a number of major events in the developing cortex, especially at the early stages. This evidence points to a regulatory role for 5-HT in neuronal proliferation, migration and differentiation, and in preventing apoptotic cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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