Central serotonergic mechanisms in hypertension

J. P. Chalmers, P. M. Pilowsky, J. B. Minson, V. Kapoor, E. Mills, M. J. West

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Serotonin-containing neurons in the central nervous system are grouped into a number of discrete and distinctive collections with cell bodies in the brainstem and projections passing to many regions of the brain and spinal cord. Evidence is presented that activation of one projection of serotonin-containing neurons from the midbrain to the hypothalamus elevates arterial pressure. Evidence is also presented that activation of a projection descending from the lateral B3 serotonin cell group to the spinal cord elicits a pressor response that is accompanied by increased release of serotonin in the spinal cord and is independent of the C1 adrenaline-containing neurons that lie close by. In contradistinction, experiments are described demonstrating that activation of the midline group of B3 serotonin cells in the raphe nucleus causes a fall in arterial pressure, consistent with the view that different groups of serotonin neurons in the brain and spinal cord participate in the control of blood pressure in diverse ways and can have different effects on blood pressure. Finally, experiments are described showing that the hypotensive action of methyldopa is mediated in part through central serotonin nerves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes


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