Lack of “Happiness Hormone” Serotonin in the Brain Causes Impaired Maternal Behavior in Mice
A lack of serotonin, commonly known as the “happiness hormone”, in the brain slows the growth of mice after birth and is responsible for impaired maternal behavior later in life. This was the result of research conducted by Dr. Natalia Alenina, Dana Kikic, and Professor Michael Bader of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany. At the same time, the researchers discovered that the presence of serotonin in the brain is not crucial for the survival of the animals. Furthermore, they were able to confirm that there are two strictly separate pathways of serotonin production: One gene is responsible for the formation of serotonin in the brain, another gene for the production of the hormone in the body (PNAS, June 23, 2009, Vol. 106, No. 25, pp 10332-10337)*.