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).

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

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