At the beginning of last century, Brodie (1900) described in an extensive study that injection of blood serum causes vasoconstriction and a vagally-mediated reflex resulting in a reversible bradycardia, hypotension and arrest of the respiration, while injection of blood plasma was devoid of these effects. About 50 years ago, the hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) was isolated from blood serum and named due to its origin and vascular action (sero=serum and tonin=vasoconstriction) (Rapport et al., 1948). Similarly, another endogenous substance from the enterochromaffin cells (present in gastrointestinal mucosa) was isolated, functionally characterised and named enteramine (Erspamer & Asero, 1952). The functional properties of enteramine were mainly smooth muscle contraction and further investigations revealed that enteramine and serotonin were chemically and pharmacologically similar (Erspamer, 1954).

antimigraine drugs, migraine, pharmacology
P.R. Saxena (Pramod Ranjan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Novartis Pharma AG. (Basel, Switzerland), Almirall Prodesfarma (Breda, The Netherlands), Nederlandse Hoofdpijn Vereniging, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bhalla, P.L. (2002, January 30). Molecular Cloning and Pharmacology of Porcine 5-Hydroxytryptamine Receptors Relevant to the Study of Antimigraine Drugs. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from