London: For the first time scientists have found that the human placenta plays an active role in synthesizing serotonin, providing hope for new treatment strategies for cardiovascular disease and mental illness.Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California`s (USC) Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute were behind the groundbreaking findings.The result offers conclusive evidence that the placenta provides serotonin to the fetal forebrain, not through the mother`s blood supply, as theorized for the past 60 years."Our research indicates that the placenta actually synthesizes serotonin, and the serotonin is released from the placenta into the fetal bloodstream where it can reach the fetal brain," said lead author Alexandre Bonnin.
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