Serotonin — a chemical produced by nerve cells — aggravated pulmonary fibrosis by promoting inflammation and oxidative stress, and activating fibrosis-associated genes in a mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis, a new study shows.

The study, “Serotonin Exhibits Accelerated Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis through TPH1 Knockout Mouse Experiments,” was published in the journal Mediators of Inflammation.

Current treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) include corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories, anti-oxidative stress agents, immunomodulatory agents, and anti-fibrotic drugs. However, these medicines tend to have only partial effects and fail to produce long-lasting benefits.

That is why it is imperative to continue investigating the development of IPF so that medicines can be designed to target these mechanisms.