Introduction. Failure of the vascular pulmonary remodeling at birth often manifests as pulmonary hypertension (PHT) and is associated with a variety of neonatal lung disorders including a uniformly fatal developmental disorder known as alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV). Serum serotonin regulation has been linked to pulmonary vascular function and disease, and serotonin transporter (SERT) is thought to be one of the key regulators in these processes. We sought to find evidence of a role that SERT plays in the neonatal respiratory adaptation process and in the pathomechanism of ACD/MPV. Methods. We used histology and immunohistochemistry to determine the timetable of SERT protein expression in normal human fetal and postnatal lungs and in cases of newborn and childhood PHT of varied etiology. In addition, we tested for a SERT gene promoter defect in ACD/MPV patients. Results. We found that SERT protein expression begins at 30 weeks of gestation, increases to term, and stays high postnatally. ACD/MPV patients had diminished SERT expression without SERT promoter alteration. Conclusion. We concluded that SERT/serotonin pathway is crucial in the process of pulmonary vascular remodeling/adaptation at birth and plays a key role in the pathobiology of ACD/MPV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine