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Trends Neurosci. 2007 Jan;30(1):9-13. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

5-HT in the enteric nervous system: gut function and neuropharmacology.

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Neurology and Gastrointestinal Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline, New Frontiers Science Park, Third Avenue, Harlow, Essex CM19 5AW, UK.


In recent times, the perception of functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has shifted fundamentally. Such disorders are now thought of as serious diseases characterized by perturbations in the neuronal regulation of gastrointestinal function. The concept of visceral hypersensitivity, the characterization of neuronal networks in the 'brain-gut axis' and the identification of several novel 5-HT-mediated mechanisms have contributed to this shift. Here, we review how some of the more promising of these new mechanisms (e.g. those involving 5-HT transporters and the 5-HT(2B), 5-HT(7) and putative 5-HT(1p) receptors) might lead to a range of second-generation therapies that could revolutionize the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders, particularly IBS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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