Serotonin [5-hydroxy-tryptamine (5-HT)] exerts a number of effects in the mammalian heart: increase in heart rate, increase in force of contraction, fibrosis of cardiac valves, coronary constriction, arrhythmias and thrombosis. These effects are, in part, mediated by 5-HT-receptors, in part, directly by 5-HT action on intracellular proteins. In the beginning, 5-HT was thought to be only produced in the gut and then transported into the heart via platelets, because platelets can take up 5-HT in the gut and enter the capillaries and thus the mammalian heart. 5-HT is to a large extent metabolized in the liver and excreted via the urine. Here, we will also overview data that argue for additional pathways, namely production and degradation of 5-HT in the cells of the heart itself.
Part of the book: Serotonin