A Delicate Balance: Gut Serotonin And Bone Maintenance
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Kosteni and colleagues report that the level of gut-made serotonin released into general circulation determines the activity of a protein known as FoxO1. FoxO1 works as a transcription factor, or a protein that controls which genes are expressed. Depending on the level of serotonin, FoxO1 can interact with a protein that promotes bone formation, CREB, or a protein that blocks bone formation, ATF4. Fluctuations in serotonin levels can therefore either promote or block the formation of new bone cells.