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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 26, 2012

Serotonin and emotion, learning and memory

Alfredo Meneses and Gustavo Liy-Salmeron


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamien, 5-HT) has been linked to emotional and motivational aspects of human behavior, including anxiety, depression, impulsivity, etc. Several clinically effective drugs exert effects via 5-HT systems. Growing evidence suggests that those effects play an important role in learning and memory. Whether the role of serotonin is related to memory and/or behavioral or emotional aspects remains an important question. A key question that remains is whether 5-HT markers (e.g., receptors) directly or indirectly participate and/or contribute to the physiological and pharmacological basis of memory and its pathogenesis. The major aim of this paper is to re-examine some recent advances regarding mammalian 5-HT receptors and transporter in light of their physiological, pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for memory. We particularly address evidence involving 5-HT systems in behavioral, pharmacological, molecular, genetic and imaging results and memory. Finally, this paper aims to summarize a portion of the evidence about serotonin, memory and emotion from animal and human studies and provide an overview of potential tools, markers and cellular and molecular candidate mechanisms. It should be noted that there are several subjects that this paper only briefly touches upon, presenting only what may be the most salient findings in the context of memory, emotion and serotonin.

Corresponding author: Alfredo Meneses, Departamento de Farmacobiología, CINVESTAV-IPN, Tenorios 235, 14330 Granjas Coapa, México

Received: 2012-5-11
Accepted: 2012-9-6
Published Online: 2012-10-26
Published in Print: 2012-11-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston