Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that transmits signals between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and other parts of the body. It is primarily synthesized in the brainstem’s raphe nuclei and is found in various regions of the central nervous system (CNS), as well as in the gastrointestinal tract (where it plays a role in regulating intestinal movements).
Serotonin acts by binding to specific receptors on the surface of target cells, known as serotonin receptors. There are several subtypes of serotonin receptors distributed throughout the brain and body, each with distinct functions and effects when activated.
Overall, serotonin is a critical neurotransmitter involved in regulating numerous physiological processes, and imbalances in serotonin levels or signaling are associated with various neurological and psychiatric disorders.