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May 1959

Serotonin: Its Effect in Normal and Atopic Skin

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;79(5):503-511. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560170001001


The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to summarize briefly those important aspects of serotonin metabolism which may interest the dermatologist; second, to present some observations we have made on the differences in response to intradermal injection of serotonin in the skin of normal adults as compared to the skin of people with atopic dermatitis.

As long ago as 1914, Masson presented the idea that cells in the wall of the intestines, which he termed argentaffin cells, might belong to an endocrine system similar to the chromaffin tissue of the adrenal medulla but differing in that the argentaffin cells are dispersed and do not form one organ.1 This was perhaps the starting point of knowledge concerning the substance we now term serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT, HT, 5-HTA, and Enteramine).

It was not until 1948 that this physiologically active agent was successfully isolated by Rapport,

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