The Expanded biology of serotonin.
Serotonin is perhaps best known as a neurotransmitter that modulates neural activity and a wide range of neuropsychological processes, and drugs that target serotonin receptors are used widely in psychiatry and neurology. However, most serotonin is found outside the central nervous system, and virtually all of the 15 serotonin receptors are expressed outside as well as within the brain. Serotonin regulates numerous biological processes including cardiovascular function, bowel motility, ejaculatory latency, and bladder control. Additionally, new work suggests that serotonin may regulate some processes, including platelet aggregation, by receptor-independent, transglutaminase-dependent covalent linkage to cellular proteins. We review this new "expanded serotonin biology" and discuss how drugs targeting specific serotonin receptors are beginning to help treat a wide range of diseases.