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

Neurochemistry and neuropharmacology of emesis - the role of serotonin.

Emesis is an instinctive defense reaction caused by the somato-autonomic nerve reflex which is integrated in the medulla oblongata. Emesis caused by cytotoxic drugs and radiation is associated with an increase in the concentration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in the intestinal mucosa and in the brainstem. 5-HT released from enterochromaffin (EC) cells, which synthesize and secrete 5-HT, stimulates the 5-HT(3) receptors on the adjacent vagal afferent nerves. This vagal afferent nerve depolarization may evoke the vomiting reflex. This review describes the role of 5-HT in anticancer drug-induced emesis from the viewpoint of 5-HT release from EC cells and afferent vagus nerve activity.[1]


  1. Neurochemistry and neuropharmacology of emesis - the role of serotonin. Endo, T., Minami, M., Hirafuji, M., Ogawa, T., Akita, K., Nemoto, M., Saito, H., Yoshioka, M., Parvez, S.H. Toxicology (2000) [Pubmed]
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