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Cell Differ. 1988 Aug;24(3):191-9.

Presence of serotonin in early chick embryos.

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Department of Zoophysiology, University of Lund, Sweden.


With biochemical analysis and with autoradiography based on injection of 5-[3H]hydroxytryptophan, it was possible to demonstrate the presence of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) in early chick embryos as early as the pre-streak stage. The biochemical analysis which covered the early developmental period (0.5-6 days of incubation) revealed an elevated concentration of serotonin at gastrulation; from then it stayed at a lower and fairly even level. Autoradiographs of embryos at the pre-streak stage, the primitive streak stage, the head fold stage and the 4-6 somites stage indicated the presence of serotonin in intracellular yolk granules and in cell nuclei. Moreover, the amine appeared associated with microfilaments and microtubules, particularly in developing neural cells. Notably the elevated concentration of serotonin at gastrulation, but also the intracellular distribution of the amine during early organogenesis, indicates a prominent role for it in cell-shape changes and morphogenesis in the early chick embryo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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