Effect of serotonin (5-HT) and other monoamines on murine macrophages: Modulation of interferon-γ induced phagocytosis

E. M. Sternberg, H. J. Wedner, M. K. Leung, C. W. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that serotonin (5-HT) suppresses interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-induced Ia expression. In the present report, we show that 5-HT as well as other monoamines, histamine and dopamine, modulate IFN-γ-induced phagocytosis in murine bone marrow macrophages. The effect of 5-HT on IFN-γ-induced phagocytosis varied according to the concentration of IFN-γ to which the macrophages were exposed. At low concentrations of IFN-γ, 5-HT augmented phagocytosis, whereas at high concentrations of IFN-γ, 5-HT suppressed phagocytosis. At both low and high IFN-γ concentrations the response to 5-HT was dose-related and occurred at physiologic concentrations; the half-maximal effect was 6 x 10-7 M and 3 x 10-7 M for low and high IFN-γ concentrations, respectively. Both histamine and dopamine also augmented IFN-γ (1 U/ml) induced phagocytosis, at half-maximal augmenting concentrations of 7 x 10-8 M and 4 x 10-7 M, respectively. The 5-HT effects were blocked by the 5-HT antagonists spiperone, ketanserin, LY53857, mCPP, and PAPP, but not by the histamine antagonists pyrilamine, chlorpheniramine, or cimetidine. Histamine augmentation of IFN-γ-induced phagocytosis was blocked by the H1 antagonists pyrilamine and chlorpheniramine, but not by the H2 antagonist cimetidine. The dopamine effect was blocked by spiperone and pyrilamine, both of which have been shown to block dopaminergic effects in other systems. This data provides functional evidence that at least part of the modulation of IFN-γ-induced phagocytosis by 5-HT occurs through a 5-HT receptor-mediated mechanism, and 5-HT, dopamine, and histamine modulate IFN-γ-induced phagocytosis independently through their respective receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4360-4365
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1987


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of serotonin (5-HT) and other monoamines on murine macrophages: Modulation of interferon-γ induced phagocytosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this