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Defining roles for serotonin in the autonomic nervous system

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Serotonin (5-HT) has been extensively studied in the brain and the periphery for decades. Although serotonin and its many receptor subtypes are widely distributed in peripheral tissues, studies addressing their function within the autonomic nervous system and the tissues it innervates have often generated ...

Serotonin (5-HT) has been extensively studied in the brain and the periphery for decades. Although serotonin and its many receptor subtypes are widely distributed in peripheral tissues, studies addressing their function within the autonomic nervous system and the tissues it innervates have often generated much heat, but little light. Thus, many of the controversies that first led to investigations into the role of serotonin remain areas of controversy. The importance of defining physiological functions as well as pharmacological actions of serotonin is readily illustrated by the wide variety of side-effects, often life-threatening, that are produced by treatment with drugs that act via serotonin and its receptors. This Research Topic focuses on the roles of serotonin in autonomic physiology and pharmacology and seeks input to the discussion via Original Articles, Reviews (including Mini Reviews), Hypothesis and Theory articles and Perspectives. We encourage submission of articles encompassing all approaches from neurogenetic analysis, molecular biology, biochemistry, neuropharmacology, functional analysis, neuroanatomy, neuropathology, neural development and maturation and functions and properties of enterochromaffin cells together with other peripheral sources of serotonin. While peripheral sources of serotonin are substantial, this Research Topic is not confined to its peripheral roles , but includes research on the role of serotonin in the central regulation of autonomic function. We aim to provide a forum for innovative research and enlightened debate about the functions of serotonin and the constraints on interpretation of the data already available in the literature. Exploration of opposing points of view and the data that support them is vital to understanding this complex area and we welcome this level of contribution to the discussion.


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