Heterogeneity of contractile 5-HT receptors in human hand veins

Eur J Pharmacol. 1992 Sep 4;219(3):455-60. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(92)90488-p.


To increase our knowledge of human peripheral vasospasm we characterized the contractile 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors in human superficial hand vein segments in vitro. The 5-HT1 receptor agonist, sumatriptan, the 5-HT2 receptor agonist, dl-alpha-methyl-5-HT, and the 5-HT3 receptor agonist, 2-methyl-5-HT, all induced concentration-dependent contractions. The contractile response to sumatriptan was antagonized by the non-selective 5-HT receptor antagonist, methiothepin, but was unaffected by the 5-HT2 receptor antagonist, ketanserin. The contractile response to dl-alpha-methyl-5-HT was antagonized by both methiothepin and ketanserin. The contraction elicited by 2-methyl-5-HT was not affected by the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, MDL 72222, but was antagonized by ketanserin. The results suggest that serotonergic contraction in the human superficial hand vein involves both 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 but not 5-HT3 receptors. Such receptor heterogeneity in human blood vessels should be considered when using drugs and when designing future compounds for medical use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hand / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / chemistry*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Receptors, Serotonin / analysis*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects
  • Veins / chemistry*


  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists