- Dec 10, 2016
Serotonin Pathway in Cancer
AbstractSerotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a biogenic monoamine produced from the essential amino acid tryptophan. Serotonin's role as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and a motility mediator in the gastrointestinal tract has been well defined, and its function in tumorigenesis in various cancers (gliomas, carcinoids, and carcinomas) is being studied. Many studies have shown a potential stimulatory effect of serotonin on cancer cell proliferation, invasion, dissemination, and tumor angiogenesis. Although the underlying mechanism is complex, it is proposed that serotonin levels in the tumor and its interaction with specific receptor subtypes are associated with disease progression. This review article describes serotonin's role in cancer pathogenesis and the utility of the serotonin pathway as a potential therapeutic target in cancer treatment. Octreotide, an inhibitor of serotonin release, is used in well-differentiated neuroendocrine cancers, and the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) inhibitor, telotristat, is currently being investigated in clinical trials to treat patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors and advanced cholangiocarcinoma. Several in vitro studies have shown the anticancer effect of 5-HT receptor antagonists in various cancers such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, urinary bladder, colorectal cancer, carcinoid, and small-cell lung cancer. More in vivo studies are needed to assess serotonin's role in cancer and its potential use as an anticancer therapeutic target. Serotonin is also being evaluated for its immunoregulatory properties, and studies have shown its potential anti-inflammatory effect. Therefore, it would be of interest to explore the combination of serotonin antagonists with immunotherapy in the future.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a biogenic monoamine produced from the essential amino acid tryptophan. Serotonin's role as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and a motility mediator in the gastrointestinal tract has been well defined, and its function in tumorigenesis in...