Novel aspects of enteric serotonergic signaling in health and brain-gut disease

Andrew Del Colle, Narek Israelyan, Kara Gross Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastrointestinal (GI) comorbidities are common in individuals with mood and behavioral dysfunction. Similarly, patients with GI problems more commonly suffer from co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses. Although the central and enteric nervous systems (CNS and ENS, respectively) have largely been studied separately, there is emerging interest in factors that may contribute to disease states involving both systems. There is strong evidence to suggest that serotonin may be an important contributor to these brain-gut conditions. Serotonin has long been recognized for its critical functions in CNS development and function. The majority of the body’s serotonin, however, is produced in the GI tract, where it plays key roles in ENS development and function. Further understanding of the specific impact that enteric serotonin has on brain-gut disease may lay the foundation for the creation of novel therapeutic targets. This review summarizes the current data focusing on the important roles that serotonin plays in ENS development and motility, with a focus on novel aspects of serotonergic signaling in medical conditions in which CNS and ENS co-morbidities are common, including autism spectrum disorders and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G130-G143
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Brain-gut
  • ENS
  • Microbiome
  • Motility
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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