Although the role of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) in pre-natal craniofacial growth and development has been studied, no research has been done on the effects of serotonin on post-natal craniofacial growth and development. The following experimental question was tested: What effect does increasing in vivo serotonin levels adjacent to trigeminal motoneurons have on post-natal craniofacial structures in young, actively growing rats? Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 experimental groups (10% serotonin microspheres, 15% serotonin microspheres, blank microspheres, sham surgeries) and underwent stereotactic neuro-surgery at post-natal day 35; 5 rats of each group were killed at 14 and 21 post-surgical days for data collection. Statistical analyses by mixed-model, 4 × 2 repeated-measures ANOVA, and post hoc Fisher LSD tests revealed significant (P ≤ 0.05, 0.01) differences between groups and sides for muscle weight, cranial dimension, and TMJ dimension data. Data described here indicate that significant alterations of post-natal craniofacial structures can be caused by altered in vivo levels of serotonin adjacent to trigeminal motoneurons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas