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Keywords:

  • abdominal pain;
  • colon;
  • hypersensitivity;
  • irritable bowel syndrome;
  • nerve;
  • serotonin

Abstract  Serotonin (5-HT) plays an important role as a signalling molecule in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The regulation of GI sensitivity via 5-HT is mediated by specific 5-HT receptor subytypes on intrinsic and extrinsic afferents. This review discusses visceral afferent hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the importance of 5HT3, 5HT4, and 5HT2B receptor-mediated mechanisms in the regulation of visceral sensitivity.