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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine), a novel regulator of glucose transport in rat skeletal muscle.

In this study we show that serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) causes a rapid stimulation in glucose uptake by approximately 50% in both L6 myotubes and isolated rat skeletal muscle. This activation is mediated via the 5-HT2A receptor, which is expressed in L6, rat, and human skeletal muscle. In L6 cells, expression of the 5-HT2A receptor is developmentally regulated based on the finding that receptor abundance increases by over 3-fold during differentiation from myoblasts to myotubes. Stimulation of the 5-HT2A receptor using methylserotonin (m-HT), a selective 5-HT2A agonist, increased muscle glucose uptake in a manner similar to that seen in response to 5-HT. The agonist-mediated stimulation in glucose uptake was attributable to an increase in the plasma membrane content of GLUT1, GLUT3, and GLUT4. The stimulatory effects of 5-HT and m-HT were suppressed in the presence of submicromolar concentrations of ketanserin (a selective 5-HT2A antagonist) providing further evidence that the increase in glucose uptake was specifically mediated via the 5-HT2A receptor. Treatment of L6 cells with insulin resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS1, increased cellular production of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-phosphate and a 41-fold activation in protein kinase B ( PKB/Akt) activity. In contrast, m-HT did not modulate IRS1, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, or PKB activity. The present results indicate that rat and human skeletal muscle both express the 5-HT2A receptor and that 5-HT and specific 5-HT2A agonists can rapidly stimulate glucose uptake in skeletal muscle by a mechanism which does not depend upon components that participate in the insulin signaling pathway.[1]


  1. Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine), a novel regulator of glucose transport in rat skeletal muscle. Hajduch, E., Rencurel, F., Balendran, A., Batty, I.H., Downes, C.P., Hundal, H.S. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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