The effect of bacterial endotoxin lps on serotonergic modulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission

Jate Bernard, Abigail Greenhalgh, Oscar Istas, Nicole T. Marguerite, Robin L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The release of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from gram-negative bacteria is key in the induction of the downstream cytokine release from cells targeting cells throughout the body. However, LPS itself has direct effects on cellular activity and can alter synaptic transmission. Animals experiencing septicemia are generally in a critical state and are often treated with various pharmacological agents. Since antidepressants related to the serotonergic system have been shown to have a positive outcome for septicemic conditions impacting the central nervous system, the actions of serotonin (5-HT) on neurons also exposed to LPS were investigated. At the model glutamatergic synapse of the crayfish neuromuscular junction (NMJ), 5-HT primarily acts through a 5-HT2A receptor subtype to enhance transmission to the motor neurons. LPS from Serratia marcescens also enhances transmission at the crayfish NMJ but by a currently unknown mechanism. LPS at 100 µg/mL had no significant effect on transmission or on altering the response to 5-HT. LPS at 500 µg/mL increased the amplitude of the evoked synaptic excitatory junction potential, and 5-HT in combination with 500 µg/mL LPS continued to promote enhanced transmission. The preparations maintained responsiveness to serotonin in the presence of low or high concentrations of LPS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Endotoxin
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Neuromodulation
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Serotonin
  • Serratia marcescens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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