Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2009, Article ID 475108, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/475108
Hypothesis

Serotonin 5- H T 2 A Receptor Function as a Contributing Factor to Both Neuropsychiatric and Cardiovascular Diseases

Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

Received 1 June 2009; Revised 7 August 2009; Accepted 14 August 2009

Academic Editor: Hari Manev

Copyright © 2009 Charles D. Nichols. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

There are high levels of comorbidity between neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular disorders. A key molecule central to both cognitive and cardiovascular function is the molecule serotonin. In the brain, serotonin modulates neuronal activity and is actively involved in mediating many cognitive functions and behaviors. In the periphery, serotonin is involved in vasoconstriction, inflammation, and cell growth, among other processes. It is hypothesized that one component of the serotonin system, the 5 - H T 2 A receptor, is a common and contributing factor underlying aspects of the comorbidity between neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular disorders. Within the brain this receptor participates in processes such as cognition and working memory, been implicated in effective disorders such as schizophrenia, and mediate the primary effects of hallucinogenic drugs. In the periphery, 5 - H T 2 A receptors have been linked to vasoconstriction and hypertension, and to inflammatory processes that can lead to atherosclerosis.