Cellular and molecular alterations in mice with deficient and reduced serotonin transporters

Qian Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The function of serotonin transporters (SERTs) is related to mood regulation. Mice with defi- cient or reduced SERT function (SERT knockout mice) show several behavioral changes, including increased anxiety-like behavior, increased sensitivity to stress, and decreases in aggressive behavior. Some of these behavioral alterations are similar to phenotypes found in humans with short alleles of polymorphism in the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR). Therefore, SERT knockout mice can be used as a tool to study 5-HTTLPRrelated variations in personality and may be the etiology of affective disorders. This article focuses on the cellular and molecular alterations in SERT knockout mice, including changes in 5-HT concentrations and its metabolism, alterations in 5-HT receptors, impaired hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal gland axis, developmental changes in the neurons and brain, and influence on other neurotransmitter transporters and receptors. It also discusses the possible relationships between these alterations and the behavioral changes in these mice. The knowledge provides the foundation for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate the SERTrelated mood regulation, which may have significant impact on understanding the etiology of affective disorders and developing better therapeutic approaches for affective disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-HT metabolism
  • 5-HT receptors
  • 5-HT receptors
  • Anxiety
  • Development
  • Dopamine transporter
  • HPA axis
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Cellular and molecular alterations in mice with deficient and reduced serotonin transporters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this