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

Spinal cord serotonin: a biochemical and immunohistochemical study following transection.

The serotonin (5-HT) content of rat spinal cord was studied following complete cord transection, transverse hemisection and rhizotomy by high pressure liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC) chromatography and immunohistochemically with rabbit anti-5-HT antiserum. Spinal cord 5-HT decreased but did not disappear after complete cord transection when studied 5 or 10 days after lesioning. Indeed the indole content 5 or 10 days after section were similar. Below the transection 5-HT-like immunoreactive neuronal elements were present, appeared normal but were significantly reduced compared with control cord. Although neuronal fibers were present after transection, no immunoreactive neuronal cell bodies were observed. The neuronal elements remaining after transection were capable of synthesizing and metabolizing 5-HT as evidenced by elevated 5-HT and decreased 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) after inhibition of monoamine oxidase. Complete cord transection resulted in a fall of 5-HT in the ventral roots suggesting that they contain efferent 5-HT elements that originate above the transection. Rhizotomy plus cord transection did not change cord indole content more than transection alone demonstrating that the indoles that remain in the cord after transection did not originate from peripheral afferent 5-HT neurons. Hemitransection resulted in partial loss of immunoreactive neuronal elements on the cut side, but 5-HT-like immunoreactive nerve fibers were observed crossing within the cord from the intact side by the spinal canal. Analysis of indole content in the hemitransected cord were consistent with crossing of 5-HT fibers within spinal segments. Our studies, taken together with reports by other laboratories, support the notion that significant 5-HT elements remain in the spinal cord after transection. These elements appear normal morphologically and biochemically.[1]


  1. Spinal cord serotonin: a biochemical and immunohistochemical study following transection. Hadjiconstantinou, M., Panula, P., Lackovic, Z., Neff, N.H. Brain Res. (1984) [Pubmed]
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