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modified on 7 April 2009 at 06:24 ••• 2,333 views

Serotonin

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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter found in cardiovascular tissue, in endothelial cells, in blood cells, and in the central nervous system. The role of serotonin in neurological function is diverse, and there is little doubt that serotonin is an important CNS neurotransmitter.

Although some of the serotonin is metabolized by monoamine oxidase, most of the serotonin released into the post-synaptic space is removed by the neuron through a re uptake mechanism inhibited by the tricyclic antidepressants and the newer, more selective antidepressant re uptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine and sertraline.


Selective Serotonin Re uptake Inhibitors

In recent years, selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors have been introduced for the treatment of depression. Prozac is the most famous drug in this class. Clomiprimine, fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline and paroxetine selectively block the re uptake of serotonin, thereby increasing the levels of serotonin in the central nervous system. Note the similarities and differences between the tricyclic antidepressants and the selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors. Clomipramine has been useful in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders.