Pulmonary hypertension: therapeutic targets within the serotonin system

Yvonne Dempsie, Margaret R MacLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by a sustained and progressive elevation in pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular remodelling leading to right heart failure and death. Prognosis is poor and novel therapeutic approaches are needed. The serotonin hypothesis of PAH originated in the 1960s after an outbreak of the disease was reported among patients taking the anorexigenic drugs aminorex and fenfluramine. These are indirect serotinergic agonists and serotonin transporter substrates. Since then many advances have been made in our understanding of the role of serotonin in the pathobiology of PAH. The rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of serotonin is tryprophan hydroxylase (Tph).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-62
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • pulmonary hypertension
  • serotonin
  • tryprophan hydroxylase


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