Ergot alkaloid mycotoxins interfere in many functions associated with serotonergic neurotransmitters. Therefore, the objective was to evaluate whether the association of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and ergot alkaloids during a 24 h pre-incubation could affect the vascular contractile response to ergot alkaloids. To evaluate the effects of 24 h exposure to 5-HT and ergot alkaloids (ergovaline, ERV), two assays were conducted. The first assay determined the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50)following the 24 h pre-exposure period, while the second assay evaluated the effect of IC50 concentrations of 5-HT and ERV either individually or in combination. There was an interaction between previous exposure to 5-HT and ERV. Previous exposure to 5-HT at the IC50 concentration of 7.57 × 10−7 M reduced the contractile response by more than 50% of control, while the exposure to ERV at IC50 dose of 1.57 × 10−10 M tended to decrease (p = 0.081) vessel contractility with a response higher than 50% of control. The 24 h previous exposure to both 5-HT and ERV did not potentiate the inhibitory response of blood vessels in comparison with incubation with each compound alone. These results suggest receptor competition between 5-HT and ERV. More studies are necessary to determine the potential of 5-HT to treat toxicosis caused by ergot alkaloids.

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Published in Toxins, v. 14, issue 1, 9.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This work is funded by Hatch Capacity Grant Project no. KY007088 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Project 201807121511 from USDA/ARS and the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.

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The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.