Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2004
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) acts as a monoamine transmitter as well as a neuromodulator in the CNS. Based on the broad distribution of 5-HT and its receptors in the CNS, 5-HT has a wide range of biological functions in controlling physiological homeostasis, including pain reaction (hyperphagia), thermoregulation, sexual behavior, motor activity, and appetite (feeding, hunger, and energy homeostasis). Serotonin also plays important roles in controlling states of consciousness, such as sleep, memory, and mood as well as various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as aggression, violence, anxiety, depression, migraine, and drug abuse. Through regulating the HPA axis, 5-HT regulates the neuroendocrine control mechanisms in the HPA axis in releasing Prolactin and GH during reproduction, and ACTH and corticosteroids in response to stressors, such as environmental danger or threat. Injury of the 5-HT system may cause permanent pathophysiological damages.