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Blood. 2013 Feb 7;121(6):1008-15. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-06-437392. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Platelet serotonin promotes the recruitment of neutrophils to sites of acute inflammation in mice.

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Immune Disease Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The majority of peripheral serotonin is stored in platelets, which secrete it on activation. Serotonin releases Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) and we asked whether absence of platelet serotonin affects neutrophil recruitment in inflammatory responses. Tryptophan hydroxylase (Tph)1–deficient mice, lacking non-neuronal serotonin, showed mild leukocytosis compared with wild-type (WT), primarily driven by an elevated neutrophil count. Despite this, 50% fewer leukocytes rolled on unstimulated mesenteric venous endothelium of Tph1(-/-) mice. The velocity of rolling leukocytes was higher in Tph1(-/-) mice, indicating fewer selectin-mediated interactions with endothelium. Stimulation of endothelium with histamine, a secretagogue of WPBs, or injection of serotonin normalized the rolling in Tph1(-/-) mice. Diminished rolling in Tph1(-/-) mice resulted in reduced firm adhesion of leukocytes after lipopolysaccharide treatment. Blocking platelet serotonin uptake with fluoxetine in WT mice reduced serum serotonin by > 80% and similarly reduced leukocyte rolling and adhesion. Four hours after inflammatory stimulation, neutrophil extravasation into lung, peritoneum, and skin wounds was reduced in Tph1(-/-) mice, whereas in vitro neutrophil chemotaxis was independent of serotonin. Survival of lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxic shock was improved in Tph1(-/-) mice. In conclusion, platelet serotonin promotes the recruitment of neutrophils in acute inflammation, supporting an important role for platelet serotonin in innate immunity.

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