5-HT and the brain-gut axis: Opportunities for pharmacologic intervention

Michael D. Crowell, Sarah B. Wessinger

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Interactions between the enteric nervous system of the gut and the brain occur bidirectionally over sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways. Coordinated actions of the central, autonomic and enteric nervous systems modulate intestinal motor, sensory and secretory activities by neuro-modulators, including 5-HT, noradrenaline and dopamine. 5-HT is an important signaling molecule in the brain-gut axis and the 5-HT released from enterochromaffin cells modulates peristaltic, secretory, vasodilatory, vagal and nociceptive reflexes. Irritable bowel syndrome is associated with altered motility, secretion and sensation; enteric 5-HT signaling may be defective in this disorder. In this editorial, recent data are reviewed and the potential for the development of pharmacologic intervention is assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • 5-HT
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Brain-gut axis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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