Gut-derived serotonin and its emerging roles in immune function, inflammation, metabolism and the gut–brain axis Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose of review

    To shed light on the recently uncovered diverse role of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) in the regulation of immune functions, inflammation, metabolism, and gut-brain axis.

    Recent findings

    Peripheral 5-HT which accounts for approximately 95% of the total is largely synthesized in the gut by enterochromaffin cells. Enterochromaffin cells release 5-HT in response to various stimuli including microbial products. Released 5-HT influences secretomotor, sensory and immune functions as well as inflammatory processes in the gut. 5-HT released from enterochromaffin cells enters circulation and is taken up and concentrated in platelets. 5-HT released from the activated platelets interacts with different organs to alter their metabolic activity. 5-HT also serves as a link in the gut-brain axis.


    Emerging evidence regarding the role of peripheral 5-HT in the regulation of various physiological and pathophysiological conditions opens up new targets for researchers to explore and for clinicians to treat and manage different diseases associated with the altered 5-HT signalling.

publication date

  • April 2022