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Serotonin Signaling Pathways and the Extracellular Matrix: Effects on Synaptic Plasticity in Health and Disease

Call for Papers

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter mediating a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological effects in the central nervous system (CNS) and on the periphery via activation of heterogeneously expressed 5-HT receptors.

Although serotonergic neurons comprise a widely distributed and complex network that targets nearly every brain structure, serotonin-mediated signaling is under a strict temporal and spatial control. Imbalance in serotonergic signaling is implicated in many pathophysiological conditions, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and anxiety. In addition to its well-established role as a neurotransmitter, serotonin is involved in many aspects of neural development, including neurite outgrowth, somatic morphology regulation, growth cone motility, synaptogenesis, and control of dendritic spine shape and density often leading to modulation of neuronal plasticity. The morphogenic effects of serotonin are developmentally regulated, and serotonin availability during sensitive developmental stages can modulate the formation and functions of behaviourally relevant neuronal networks in adulthood.

In this issue, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms responsible for the morphogenic effects of serotonin elicited by its different 5-HT receptors in neurons. We will also discuss the role of serotonin receptor-mediated morphogenic signaling in the development and maintenance of pathophysiological conditions pointing 5-HT receptors as potential targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Since recent studies indicate the existence of a causal link between 5-HT7 receptor-mediated signaling and components that are involved in regulating the extracellular matrix (ECM), namely, cell adhesion molecules and extracellular matrix modifiers, we will assess also the effect of these functional elements on synaptic plasticity.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • The role of serotonergic signaling in regulation of neuronal plasticity in vivo and in vitro
  • Identification of intracellular mechanisms leading to actin remodeling induced by specific serotonin receptors in neurons and glial cells
  • Interplay between the serotonergic system and the extracellular matrix (ECM) as a potential regulator of neuronal plasticity
  • Animal models of brain disorders related to malfunction of serotonin receptors and altered ECM structure
  • The shaping processes of ECM by extracellular proteases and its role in the activation of signaling pathways involved in synaptic plasticity
  • Presynapse, postsynapse, glia, and ECM, how serotonin receptors regulate the tetrapartite synapse
  • New pharmacological strategies to modulate serotonergic and ECM signaling

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/np/ssp/.

Submission DeadlineFriday, 13 October 2017
Publication DateMarch 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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