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Trends Mol Med. 2003 Dec;9(12):542-8.

Serotonin receptors: guardians of stable breathing.

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II. Physiological Institute, Neuro- and Sensory Neurophysiology, University of Göttingen, Humboldtallee 23, D37073 Göttingen, Germany.


Disturbances of breathing arising from failures of the respiratory center are not uncommon. Among them, breath holding and apnea occur most frequently as consequences of pulmonary and cardiac diseases, hypoxia, head trauma, cerebral inflammatory processes, genetic defects, degenerative brain diseases, alcoholism, deep anesthesia and drug overdose. They are often life-threatening and fail to respond to existing pharmacotherapies. After extensive research, there is now a reliable basis for new strategies to treat respiratory disturbances by pharmacological manipulation of intracellular signaling pathways, particularly those involving the serotonin receptor family. Specific activation of these pathways effectively prevails respiratory disturbances and can be extended to treatment of life-threatening respiratory disorders in patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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