Healthy embryonic brain development depends on serotonin receptor

4 December 2014

Researchers Dr Hans van Hooft and Dr Pascal Chameau of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences recently published in cooperation with researchers from the University of Geneva Medical School and the ESPCI ParisTech in Nature Communications on the importance of the serotonin receptor 5-HT3 for healthy embryonic brain development.

Serotonin is a substance in the brain, which is involved in the transfer of information between brain cells. In addition, serotonin has an important influence on brain development. In the past, researchers from SILS have demonstrated that the use of the antidepressant Prozac during pregnancy leads to abnormalities in the structure of the brain of the descendants. This effect was dependent on a particular receptor for serotonin, known as the 5-HT3 receptor. Last month, these same researchers showed, in cooperation with researchers in Geneva and Paris, that the 5-HT3 receptor is essential for the correct positioning of certain neurons in the brain during embryonic development. These fundamental findings are important to understand how serotonin affects brain development and how defects arise when the serotonin system does not function properly, as found in various brain disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and autism.

For the full article see: Nature Communications


Published by  Swammerdam Institute