Serotonergic neuromodulation of peripheral nociceptors

Dayna R. Loyd, Michael A. Henry, Kenneth M. Hargreaves

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Nociception, the encoding and processing of noxious environmental stimuli by sensory neurons, functions to protect an organism from bodily damage. Activation of the terminal endings of certain sensory neurons, termed nociceptors, triggers a train of impulses to neurons in the spinal cord. Signals are integrated and processed in the dorsal spinal cord and then projected to the brain where they elicit the perception of pain. A number of neuromodulators that can affect nociceptors are released in the periphery during the inflammation that follows an initial injury. Serotonin (5-HT) is a one such proinflammatory mediator. This review discusses our current understanding of the neuromodulatory role of 5-HT, and specifically how this monoamine activates and sensitizes nociceptors. Potential therapeutic targets to treat pain are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • 5-HT
  • Nociception
  • Pain
  • Review
  • Serotonin
  • TRPV1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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