Aim: As a continuation of our research on the melanin formation from catecholamines, we studied the polysaccharide-mediated oxidation of serotonin and other 5-hydroxy indoles into melanin-like materials. As for the catecholamines, we observed that many polysaccharides promote the oxidation of such compounds, particularly in the presence of Cu2+. Methodology: The reactions were monitored using reverse phase-HPLC and size-exclusion chromatography techniques. Melanin-like materials were purified through dialysis and characterized using UV-Vis and Fourier transform IR spectroscopic techniques. Results: One such material, synthesized from chondroitin sulfate type A and serotonin in the presence of Cu2+ was found to affect the release of IL-1β and IL-6 cytokines from immune cells.
The manuscript details our study of the formation of melanin-like pigments from serotonin in the presence of select polysaccharides. Melanin-like pigments have been observed in the brain and their presence is related to pathologies like Parkinson's disease. The melanin-like pigments observed in brain cells are derived from catecholamines like dopamine or norepinephrine. Our research suggests that another important brain compound, serotonin, may make contributions to the appearance of melanin-like pigments in brain tissues.
Koen Vercruysse, Astiney Clark, Noor Alatas, Dylan Brooks, Nafisa Hamza, and Margaret Whalen "Polysaccharide-mediated synthesis of melanins from serotonin and other 5-hydroxy indoles" Future Science OA 2018 4:3