For citation purposes: Musumeci G, Trovato FM, Avola R, Imbesi R, Castrogiovanni P. Serotonin/growth hormone/insulin-like growth factors axis on pre- and post-natal development: A contemporary review. OA Anatomy 2013 Mar 01;1(2):12.

Review

 
Developmental Anatomy

Serotonin/growth hormone/insulin-like growth factors axis on pre- and post-natal development: a contemporary review

G Musumeci, FM Trovato, R Avola, R Imbesi, P Castrogiovanni
 

Authors affiliations

(1) Department of Bio-Medical Science, Section of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Catania, Cantania, Italy.

(2) Department of Medical and Pediatric Sciences, University of Catania, Cantania, Italy. *Corresponding author Email: g.musumeci@unict.it.

Abstract

Introduction

L-tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin. Serotonin regulates the secretion of pituitary growth hormone which in turn stimulates production of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs). IGFs are necessary for development and growth.

We reviewed the most recent literature regarding the role of serotonin/growth hormone/IGF-I axis on development and growth. The link between serotonin, growth hormone and IGF production is widely reported in the literature. Many studies demonstrate impaired growth and development in offspring of pregnant rats with low levels of plasmatic serotonin. The most recent literature shows the possible negative influence of serotonin in excess on differentiation of serotonergic neurons with consequent reduction in pituitary growth hormone production, which has a direct effect on hepatic production of IGF-I, particularly in the post-natal period. Recent literature also shows that hyperserotonemia in pregnant rats causes disorders in offspring, such as lower body mass and a lower survival rate. In addition, data show that high serotonin levels could inhibit development of serotonin neurons and lead to anatomic and functional alterations of the brain. Also, a recent study by us supports the negative effects of hyperserotonemia on pre-and post-natal development. In this paper, we considered the influence of different growth factors and hormones on pre- and post-natal development.

Conclusion

Pre- and post-natal development depends on genetic, environmental factors and several growth factors. The ability of the placenta to provide the foetus for all molecular components is fundamental to allow a normal development and growth. This paper expresses brief considerations on some aspects of pre- and post-natal development. It gives a synthetic overview on the role of serotonin/growth hormone/IGF-I axis on development and growth.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)