5-hydroxytryptamine

Definition / meaning of 5-hydroxytryptamine

A hormone found in the brain, platelets, digestive tract, and pineal gland. It acts both as a neurotransmitter (a substance that nerves use to send messages to one another) and a vasoconstrictor (a substance that causes blood vessels to narrow). A lack of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the brain is thought to be a cause of depression. Also called serotonin.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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