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Curr Neuropharmacol. 2006 Apr;4(2):101-14.

Serotonin as a modulator of glutamate- and GABA-mediated neurotransmission: implications in physiological functions and in pathology.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiologiche, Università di Catania, 6, Viale Andrea Doria, 95125 Catania, Italy. ciranna@unict.it

Abstract

The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), widely distributed in the central nervous system (CNS), is involved in a large variety of physiological functions. In several brain regions 5-HT is diffusely released by volume transmission and behaves as a neuromodulator rather than as a "classical" neurotransmitter. In some cases 5-HT is co-localized in the same nerve terminal with other neurotransmitters and reciprocal interactions take place. This review will focus on the modulatory action of 5-HT on the effects of glutamate and gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA), which are the principal neurotransmitters mediating respectively excitatory and inhibitory signals in the CNS. Examples of interaction at pre-and/or post-synaptic levels will be illustrated, as well as the receptors involved and their mechanisms of action. Finally, the physiological meaning of neuromodulatory effects of 5-HT will be briefly discussed with respect to pathologies deriving from malfunctioning of serotonin system.

KEYWORDS:

GABA; Serotonin; cognition; glutamate; motor control; neuromodulation; nociception

PMID:
18615128
PMCID:
PMC2430669

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