Serotonin Increases Cilia-Driven Particle Transport via an Acetylcholine-Independent Pathway in the Mouse Trachea

Peter König*, Benjamin Krain, Gabriela Krasteva, Wolfgang Kummer

*Corresponding author for this work
25 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Mucociliary clearance in the airways is driven by the coordinated beating of ciliated cells. Classical neuromediators such as noradrenalin and acetylcholine increase ciliary beat frequency and thus cilia-driven transport. Despite the fact that the neuromediator serotonin is ciliostimulatory in invertebrates and has been implied in releasing acetylcholine from the airway epithelium, its role in regulating cilia function in vertebrate airways is not established.Methodology/Principal Findings:We examined the effects of serotonin on ciliary beat frequency and cilia-driven particle transport in the acutely excised submerged mouse trachea and determined the sources of serotonin in this tissue by immunohistochemistry. Serotonin (100 μM) increased cilary beat frequency (8.9±1.2 Hz to 17.0±2.7 Hz) and particle transport speed (38.9±4.6 μm/s to 83.4±8.3 μm/s) to an extent that was comparable to a supramaximal dose of ATP. The increase in particle transport speed was totally prevented by methysergide (100 μM). Blockade of muscarinic receptors by atropine (1 μM) did not reduce the effect of serotonin, although it was effective in preventing the increase in particle transport speed mediated by muscarine (100 μM). Immunohistochemistry demonstrated serotonin in mast cells pointing towards mast cells and platelets as possible endogenous sources of serotonin.Conclusions/Significance:These results indicate that serotonin is a likely endogenous mediator that can increase cilia-driven transport independent from acetylcholine during activation of mast cells and platelets.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0004938
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Serotonin Increases Cilia-Driven Particle Transport via an Acetylcholine-Independent Pathway in the Mouse Trachea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this