5-Hydroxytryptamine — Serotonin

  • Boris Sokoloff
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 15)


The most striking fact about the distribution of 5-HT is its occurrence in living beings so far removed from each other, as vertebrates and flowering plants. It appears that the ability to produce serotonin might be primitive in an evolutionary sense, as are the agents related to it, such as tryptophan, which is universally distributed in living species. The presence of 5-HT was detected in mammalia, dogs, rabbits, hens and ducks (Erspamer and Pavan, 1954), in tortoises and grass snakes (Udenfriend et al., 1952), in pisces (Erspamer, 1954), in cephalopoda and pelecypoda (Welsh, 1954; Twarog, 1954), in insecta and arachnida (Jaques and Schachter, 1954; Erspamer and Pavan, 1954; Adam and Weiss, 1956) and others. According to Collier (1957), 5-HT was found in dogs in almost all organs, such as the stomach, small intestine, liver, kidney, spleen, lung, ear, skin, tongue, muscle, brain, vagus and sciatic nerves and even in the diaphragm. While polymorphonuclear leucocytes do not contain 5-HT, platelets, non-argentaffin carcinoid cells and mast cell tumors have a moderate amount of the metabolites. The argentaffin cell carcinoid levels of 5-HT are as high as 58–3620 γ/g (Snow et al., 1955).


Blood Platelet Cardiovascular Reaction Lysergic Acid Monoamine Oxidase Activity Mast Cell Tumor 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris Sokoloff
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Bio-Research Institute, and A. P. Cooke Memorial Cancer LaboratoryFlorida Southern CollegeLakelandUSA

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