Regulation of serotonin transporter activity by adenosine in intestinal epithelial cells


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Abstract

Graphical abstractSerotonin plays a critical role in the regulation of intestinal physiology. The serotonin transporter (SERT) expressed in the intestinal epithelium determines 5-HT availability and activity. The serotoninergic system and SERT activity have been described as being altered in chronic intestinal pathologies such as inflammatory diseases. Adenosine has also been shown to be involved in a variety of intestinal functions and to play a central role in the regulation of inflammatory responses of injured tissue. Since the modulation of SERT by adenosine in the intestine remains unknown, the aim of the present work was to study the effect of adenosine on SERT activity and expression and to determine the molecular mechanism involved. The study has been carried out using human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells which endogenously express SERT. The results show that adenosine diminishes SERT activity in both the apical and basal membranes by acting in the intrinsic molecule with no alteration of either SERT mRNA or protein levels. The effect of adenosine appears to be mediated by A2 receptors and activation of the cAMP/PKA signalling pathway. Moreover, the adenosine effect did not seem to involve the activation of AMP activated protein kinase. Adenosine effects are reached at high concentrations, which suggests that adenosine modulation of SERT may be significant under conditions of inflammation and tissue injury.

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