Immunohistochemical localization of 5-HT(2A) receptors in peripheral sensory axons in rat glabrous skin

Susan M. Carlton, Richard E. Coggeshall

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63 Scopus citations


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a well known inflammatory mediator and algesic substance. It has been hypothesized that 5-HT can have a direct action on peripheral sensory axons, but there has been no anatomical demonstration of 5-HT receptors on peripheral primary afferent processes. The present study shows that 32% of unmyelinated axons at the dermal-epidermal junction are immunohistochemically stained with antibodies directed against the 5-HT(2A) receptor providing anatomical evidence that 5-HT can have a direct effect on sensory fibers in the skin. Furthermore, encapsulated nerve endings in Pacinian corpuscles also contain reaction product following immunostaining for 5-HT(2A) receptors, indicating that large myelinated axons can be activated by endogenous serotonin. These data suggest that peripherally acting 5-HT(2A) antagonists may be effective in reducing pain of peripheral origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 25 1997


  • Catecholamine
  • Pain
  • Peripheral sensitization
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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