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Validation of a Serotonin ELISA Kit with Blood Samples from Three Domestic Animal Species

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Camille Chabaud1, Morgan Mathieu2, Erica Brooks3, Cécile Bienboire-Frosini1
1IRSEA, Apt, France
2Enzo Life Sciences, Lausen, Switzerland
3Enzo Life Sciences, Ann Arbor, USA

Featured Product: Serotonin ELISA kit


  • Enzo’s Serotonin ELISA Kit was tested with dog serum, horse plasma, and pig serum
  • Precision, accuracy, parallelism, and linearity under dilution were evaluated
  • Precision and accuracy of Enzo’s Serotonin ELISA Kit were validated for the analysis of serotonin in these three sample types
  • Dilutional linearity was achieved with all three sample types
  • Enzo’s Serotonin ELISA Kit is able to recognize and bind in a specific manner the serotonin present in these three sample types similarly to the serotonin from the standard


Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine biochemically-derived from tryptophan. It is found in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood. It has broad physiological functions as a neurotransmitter, in gastric motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity (Pineyro et al., 1999). Effects are mediated through the activation of 5-HT receptors. Serotonergic neurons have axons, which project towards many different parts of the brain. A portion of the serotonin that has been produced and released by serotonergic neurons triggers a neuronal impulse capable of affecting many different behaviors. The rest is captured by the presynaptic serotonergic neurons and used in a negative feedback loop. In humans, a decrease in serotonin signaling has been linked with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (Fox, et al., 2009), but also complex behavioral disorders such as aggression (Young and Moskowitz, 2005) and depression (Murphy et al., 2008). Low serotonin levels are believed to be the cause of many cases of mild-to-severe depression, which can lead to symptoms of anxiety, apathy, fear, insomnia, and fatigue.

The knowledge gained in humans can be directly applied to animals. Indeed, the study of serotonin levels in animals is clinically-relevant and can be indicative of welfare. Diet, environment, exercise, housing, animal-human interactions, and weaning were shown to influence serotonin concentration in dog serum (Alberghina et al., 2014; Park et al., 2014; Alberghina et al., 2017), horse (Bruschetta et al., 2014; Alberghina et al., 2015; Bruschetta et al., 2017), and pig (Ursinus et al., 2013). Low levels of serotonin were found to be associated with distress and behavioral disorders such as impulsiveness and aggression in some dogs (Leon et al., 2012; Amat et al., 2013), cribbing in horses (Lebelt et al., 1998), and tail biting in pigs (Ursinus et al., 2014). As a precursor of serotonin, tryptophan can be envisaged as a supplement to diet to attenuate these aggressive behaviors, control stress, and improve wellbeing (DeNapoli et al., 2000; Shen et al., 2012). The data obtained in dog, horse, and pig suggest that serotonin could be a key biomarker for the monitoring of their overall welfare and/or for helping the clinical assessment of some behavioral disorders and therapies. Using a similar approach to the one used for the Oxytocin ELISA Kit, the researchers at IRSEA evaluated Enzo’s Serotonin ELISA Kit for the measurement of serotonin in these three species.

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