Mucosal serotonin overflow is associated with colonic stretch rather than phasic contractions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many studies have shown that mucosal serotonin (5-HT) is associated with motility, however recently there have been some questions to the precise role of this transmitter. The majority of studies have focused on understanding the role of mucosal 5-HT on colonic migratory motor complexes, but very few studies have been carried out to understand how 5-HT release may be associated with other motility patterns. Methods Using distal colon segments from C57BL/6J mice, mucosal 5-HT overflow was monitored using amperometry whilst applying tension in longitudinal or circular directions to stretch the tissue. Key Results Phasic and basal 5-HT levels were not associated with the strength of phasic contractions, whilst being altered using scopolamine and L-NNA. There was a significant increase in mucosal 5-HT with longitudinal and circular muscle stretch. A greater applied force was needed to activate 5-HT release in the circular muscle. In the longitudinal muscle, 5-HT levels increased with stretch until 3 mN, after which the levels returned back to baseline. This stretch-evoked 5-HT overflow was inhibited by transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) agonist, 30 µM ruthenium red in both circular and longitudinal muscle preparations. The decreased 5-HT overflow after 3mN of tension was reversed using a 5-HT4 antagonist 100 nM GR113808. Conclusions & Inferences Our findings show a relationship between colonic stretch and mucosal 5-HT overflow, whilst no relationship is observed with phasic colonic contractions. Such findings provide more insight into the role of mucosal 5-HT in influencing the pattern of colonic motility to diversify fecal propulsion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-923
Number of pages10
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Patel, B. A. (2016), Mucosal serotonin overflow is associated with colonic stretch rather than phasic contractions. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 28: 914–923, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • serotonin
  • enterochromaffin cell
  • mechanosensitivity
  • TRPA1
  • contraction


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