Serotonin-mediated tuning of human helper T cell responsiveness to the chemokine CXCL12

Elena Magrini, Ildikò Szabò, Andrea Doni, Javier Cibella, Antonella Viola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In addition to its role as neurotransmitter, serotonin (5-HT) is an important modulator of inflammation and immunity. Here, we report novel findings suggesting a 5-HT involvement in T cell migration. In particular, we show that 5-HT tunes the responsiveness of human T lymphocytes to the broadly expressed chemokine CXCL12 in transwell migration assays. By real-time PCR, western blot analysis and electrophysiological patch clamp experiments, we demonstrate that the type 3 5-HT receptor (5-HT 3) is functionally expressed in human primary T cells. In addition, specific 5-HT 3 receptor agonists selectively decrease T cell migration towards gradients of CXCL12 but not of inflammatory chemokines, such as CCL2 and CCL5. In transmigration experiments, 5-HT 3 receptor stimulation reverts the inhibitory effect of endothelial-bound CXCL12 on T cell migration. Our data suggest that the reduced T cell responsiveness to CXCL12 induced by 5-HT may occur to facilitate T cell extravasation and migration into inflamed tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22482
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Serotonin-mediated tuning of human helper T cell responsiveness to the chemokine CXCL12'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this