5-HT2A, 5-HT1B/D, 5HT3 and 5-HT7 receptors as mediators of serotonin-induced direct contractile response of bovine airway smooth muscle

J Smooth Muscle Res. 2021;57(0):79-93. doi: 10.1540/jsmr.57.79.


Background: Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) performs a variety of functions in the body including the modulation of muscle tone in respiratory airways. Several studies indicate a possible role of 5-HT in the pathophysiology of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. However, the receptors and the molecular mechanisms by which 5-HT acts on airway smooth muscle (ASM) continue to be controversial. Most of the evidence suggests the participation of different subtypes of receptors in an indirect response. This study supports the proposal that 5-HT directly contracts ASM and characterizes pharmacologically the subtypes of serotonergic receptors involved. The characterization was carried out by using selective antagonists in an organ bath model allowing study of the smooth muscle of segments of bovine trachea.

Results: The results obtained show that 5-HT2A receptors are the main mediators of the direct contractile response of bovine ASM, with the cooperation of the 5-HT7, 5-HT3 and 5-HT1B/D receptors. Also, it was observed that the muscle response to serotonin is developed more slowly and to a lesser extent in comparison with the response to cholinergic stimulation.

Conclusion: Overall, the receptors that mediate the direct serotonergic contraction of the smooth muscle of the bovine trachea are 5-HT2A, 5-HT7, 5-HT3 and 5-HT1B/D receptors.

Keywords: airway; contraction; serotonin; smooth muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Smooth
  • Receptors, Serotonin* / physiology
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin* / pharmacology
  • Serotonin* / physiology


  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Serotonin