Serodolin, a β-arrestin–biased ligand of 5-HT7 receptor, attenuates pain-related behaviors

Chayma El Khamlichi, Flora Reverchon, Nadège Hervouet-Coste, Elodie Robin, Nicolas Chopin, Emmanuel Deau, Fahima Madouri, Cyril Guimpied, Cyril Colas, Arnaud Menuet, Asuka Inoue, Andrzej J. Bojarski, Gérald Guillaumet, Franck Suzenet, Eric Reiter, Séverine Morisset-Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in regulation of manifold physiological processes through coupling to heterotrimeric G proteins upon ligand stimulation. Classical therapeutically active drugs simultaneously initiate several downstream signaling pathways, whereas biased ligands, which stabilize subsets of receptor conformations, elicit more selective signaling. This concept of functional selectivity of a ligand has emerged as an interesting property for the development of new therapeutic molecules. Biased ligands are expected to have superior efficacy and/or reduced side effects by regulating biological functions of GPCRs in a more precise way. In the last decade, 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) has become a promising target for the treatment of neuro-psychiatric disorders, sleep and circadian rhythm disorders, and pathological pain. In this study, we showed that Serodolin is unique among a number of agonists and antagonists tested: it behaves as an antagonist/inverse agonist on Gs signaling while inducing ERK activation through a β-arrestin–dependent signaling mechanism that requires c-SRC activation. Moreover, we showed that Serodolin clearly decreases hyperalgesia and pain sensation in response to inflammatory, thermal, and mechanical stimulation. This antinociceptive effect could not be observed in 5-HT7R knockout (KO) mice and was fully blocked by administration of SB269-970, a specific 5-HT7R antagonist, demonstrating the specificity of action of Serodolin. Physiological effects of 5-HT7R stimulation have been classically shown to result from Gs-dependent adenylyl cyclase activation. In this study, using a β-arrestin–biased agonist, we provided insight into the molecular mechanism triggered by 5-HT7R and revealed its therapeutic potential in the modulation of pain response.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2118847119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 24


  • 5-HT7 receptor
  • GPCR
  • analgesia
  • biased ligands
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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