Quantification of changes in serotonin uptake with spinal cord injury

S. Shapiro, W. McBride, C. Sartorius, E. Chernet, S. Sanders, P. Hall, F. H. Geisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The high-affinity uptake of [3H]serotonin was studied using spinal cord preparations obtained from normal dogs, dogs made paraplegic by midthoratic transection, and dogs made monoplegic by midthoracic hemisection. Measurements were made at 1, 4, and 8 weeks after surgery. Lumbar spinal cord was removed at the above time periods and a myelin-free synaptosomal fraction was obtained by centrifugation and used for studying high-affinity serotonin uptake. At 1 week, there were no significant differences for K(m) values (nM) among any of the three groups (138 ± 20, 128± 22, and 118 ± 20). The V(max) values (pmol/min/mg of protein) at 1 week for the control group (4.9 ± 0.6) versus the hemisected group (4.3 ± 0.7) were not significantly different. The V(max) values at 1 week for the completely transected group (2.3 ± 0.3; P<0.01) were significantly reduced by 53 ± 7%. At 4 weeks, the V(max) values for the hemisected (1.8 ± 0.2; P<0.05) and transected groups (0.6 ± 0.2; P<0.05) were significantly different as compared to the control group. The mean percent drop in V(max) after hemisection was 56 ± 4%, close to the predicted value of 50%. The mean percent drop in V(max) after transection was 86 ± 2%. At 8 weeks the mean V(max) values for the hemisected (1.9 ± 0.3; P<0.05) and transected (0.4 ± 0.4;P<0.05) groups were not significantly different compared to their respective 4-week values. It appears that serotonin uptake can be used to quantitate roughly the degree of spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-428
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990



  • Paraplegia
  • Serotonin
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

Cite this

Shapiro, S., McBride, W., Sartorius, C., Chernet, E., Sanders, S., Hall, P., & Geisler, F. H. (1990). Quantification of changes in serotonin uptake with spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery, 26(3), 424-428. https://doi.org/10.1227/00006123-199003000-00008