Physiol. Res. 52: 223-228, 2003

Expression of Serotonin Receptors in Mouse Oocytes and Preimplantation Embryos


Institute of Animal Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received November 21, 2001
Accepted June 18, 2002

Serotonin receptors have been found in several reproductive organs as well as in the central nervous system. Serotonin-binding sites have been demonstrated in duck ovarian follicles and the testis, hamster ovaries, human granulosa cells and mouse placenta. Local production of serotonin by the rat ovary, oviduct, uterus and testis has also been reported. We analyzed the expression of three types of serotonin receptors: 5-HT1B, 5-HT2C and 5-HT1D by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in mouse unfertilized oocytes and preimplantation embryos from zygotes to the blastocyst stage in vivo. Transcripts for 5-HT1B and 5-HT2C serotonin receptors were detected neither in unfertilized oocytes nor at any stages of in vivo developing preimplantation embryos. Serotonin 5-HT1D receptor mRNA was present in unfertilized oocytes, zygotes, 2-cell embryos, compacted morulae and in vivo produced expanded blatocysts. The expression of the mRNA 5-HT1D serotonin receptor was also detected in blastocysts cultured in vitro. When added to the culture medium, specific serotonin 5-HT1D agonist sumatriptan (1 μM) significantly inhibited the development of mouse embryos cultured in vitro. Demonstration of the expression of 5-HT1D serotonin receptor in mouse oocytes and preimplantation embryos supports the idea of a functional serotonin (5-HT1D) receptor in early mammalian development.

Key words
Expression • Oocyte • Preimplantation • Serotonin • Sumatriptan

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J. Veselá, Institute of Animal Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Šoltésovej 4, 040 01 Košice, Slovak Republic. E-mail :

© 2003 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences