Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (GARJMMS) ISSN: 2315-5159
February 2015 Vol. 4(2), pp. 083-091
Copyright © 2015 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Characterization of an intrinsic serotonergic system in rat heart

Gabriel Manjarrez-Gutiérrez1,2*, Teresa Neri-Gómez1, Alfonso Boyzo-Montes de Oca3 and Jorge Hernández-Rodríguez3

1Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Cardiology Hospital, National Medical Center (CMN-SXXI), Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), Mexico City, Mexico
2Medical Research Unit in Neurological Diseases, Specialties Hospital, CMN-SXXI, IMSS, México, DF, México
3Laboratory of Neurontogeny, Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neurosciences, Center of Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) IPN, Mexico City, Mexico.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:;; Phone: (+52) (55) 56276900, Ext. 22156;  Fax: (+52) (55) 55780240

Accepted 10 February, 2015


The objective of this study was to characterize biochemically and immunohistochemically an intrinsic serotonergic system in rat heart. Male Wistar rats were used with an average body weight of 250 ± 10 g. Rats were adapted for 2 weeks to standard animal laboratory conditions. Hearts were later obtained to determine the principal components of the serotoninergic system using immunohistochemistry and Western blot for tryptophan-5-hydroxylase (TPH) 1 or 2, serotonin transporter (SERT) and serotoninergic receptors 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B and 5-HT4. Activity of TPH, L-tryptophan (L-Trp), 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin, 5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) were also determined by high-resolution liquid chromatography.  Immunopositive cardiomyocytes for both isoforms of TPH were observed. There was a greater expression of TPH2in relation to TPH1. Immunoreactivity for SERT and 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B and 5-HT4receptors was also observed in cardiomyocytes. TPH activity, L-Trp, 5-HT and 5-HIAA concentrations were also demonstrated in heart tissue.These findings support the fact that cardiomyocytes synthesize, utilize and reuptake 5-HT, which constitutes an intrinsic serotoninergic system that actively participates as an autocrine and paracrine modulation system of heart activities.

Keywords: Cardiomyocytes, serotonin, tryptophan-5-hydroxylase, SERT, serotoninergic receptors


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