Serotonin in Tetrahymena - how does it work?

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Presence, uptake and production of serotonin and its effect on the production of other hormones were studied using immunocytochemical flow cytometric method. In a serotonin (10-12 M) containing medium up to 15 min. serotonin level does not elevate in the cells, but after 30 min. there is a significant elevation which remains till 4 h. In cells starved in salt solution the elevation is higher which calls attention to the effect of (starvation) stress. Using four enzyme blockers tryptophane hydroxylase inhibitor PCPA decreased (in serotonin-containing medium) and MAO B blocker deprenyl increased serotonin content, while serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine and MAO-A blocker clorgyline were ineffective. Extremely low concentrations of serotonin (10-15 M in case of histamine and 10-18 M in case of ACTH and T3) in the milieu was sufficient for increasing hormone (ACTH, T3, histamine) levels inside the cells. In conclusion; serotonin can be taken up by the cells and can be produced by induction, as Tetrahymena has enzymes for building it up and decomposing it. For synthesizing serotonin; basic molecules from outside are not needed. Serotonin in a minute amount can induce production of different hormones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalActa Protozoologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2010



  • Enzyme blockers
  • Protozoan hormones
  • Serotonin
  • Tetrahymena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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