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Behav Brain Res. 2015 Jan 15;277:49-57. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.07.038. Epub 2014 Aug 11.

The role of serotonin in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

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Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, 13125 Berlin, Germany.
Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, 13125 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:


Serotonin is probably best known for its role in conveying a sense of contentedness and happiness. It is one of the most unique and pharmacologically complex monoamines in both the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS). Serotonin has become in focus of interest for the treatment of depression with multiple serotonin-mimetic and modulators of adult neurogenesis used clinically. Here we will take a broad view of serotonin from development to its physiological role as a neurotransmitter and its contribution to homeostasis of the adult rodent hippocampus. This chapter reflects the most significant findings on cellular and molecular mechanisms from neuroscientists in the field over the last two decades. We illustrate the action of serotonin by highlighting basic receptor targeting studies, and how receptors impact brain function. We give an overview of recent genetically modified mouse models that differ in serotonin availability and focus on the role of the monoamine in antidepressant response. We conclude with a synthesis of the most recent data surrounding the role of serotonin in activity and hippocampal neurogenesis. This synopsis sheds light on the mechanisms and potential therapeutic model by which serotonin plays a critical role in the maintenance of mood.


5-HT receptor; Antidepressant; BrdU; Neurogenic niche; Neuromodulator; TPH2

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