Serotonin as a homeostatic regulator of lactation

Robert J Collier, L. L. Hernandez, N. D. Horseman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Serotonin (5-HT), a neurotransmitter produced in mammary epithelial cells (MECs), acts via autocrine-paracrine mechanisms on MECs to regulate milk secretion in a variety of species. Recent studies in dairy cows reported that 5-HT ligands affect milk yield and composition. We determined the mRNA expression of bovine 5-HT receptor (5-HTR) subtypes in bovine mammary tissue (BMT) and cultured bovine MECs. We then used pharmacologic agents to evaluate functional activities of 5-HTR subtypes. The mRNAs for five receptor isoforms (5-HTR1B, 5-HTR2A, 5-HTR2B, 5-HTR4, and 5-HTR7) were identified by conventional reverse transcription PCR, real-time PCR, and in situ hybridization in BMT. In addition to luminal MEC expression, 5-HTR4 was expressed in myoepithelium, and 5-HTR1B, HTR2A, and HTR2B were expressed in small mammary blood vessels. Studies to date report that there are multiple 5-HTR isoforms in mammary tissue of rodents, humans, and cattle. Inhibition of the 5-HT reuptake transporter with selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) disrupted tight junctions and decreased milk protein mRNA expression in mouse, human, and bovine mammary cells. Selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors act to increase the cellular exposure to 5-HT by preventing reuptake of 5-HT by the cell and eventual degradation. Increasing 5-HT concentration in milk via inhibiting its reuptake (SSRI), or by increasing the precursor for 5-HT synthesis 5-hydroxytryptophan, accelerated decline in milk synthesis at dry-off. We conclude that the 5-HT system in mammary tissue acts as a homeostatic regulator of lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Fingerprint

Lactation
serotonin
Serotonin
breasts
lactation
Breast
Serotonin Receptors
cattle
Milk
epithelial cells
Epithelial Cells
Messenger RNA
Protein Isoforms
5-hydroxytryptophan
milk secretion
milk synthesis
5-Hydroxytryptophan
tight junctions
Tight Junctions
Milk Proteins

Keywords

  • Mammary gland
  • Milk yield
  • Receptor
  • Serotonin
  • Transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Animals

Cite this

Serotonin as a homeostatic regulator of lactation. / Collier, Robert J; Hernandez, L. L.; Horseman, N. D.

In: Domestic Animal Endocrinology, Vol. 43, No. 2, 08.2012, p. 161-170.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Collier, Robert J ; Hernandez, L. L. ; Horseman, N. D. / Serotonin as a homeostatic regulator of lactation. In: Domestic Animal Endocrinology. 2012 ; Vol. 43, No. 2. pp. 161-170.
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