Changes in regional brain levels of tryptophan 5 hydroxy tryptamine 5 hydroxy iaa dopamine and noradrenaline after pinealectomy in the rat

Sugden, D.; Morris, R.D.

Journal of Neurochemistry 32(5): 1593-1596


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-3042
Accession: 004911342

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Removal of the pineal gland is often followed by behavioral and endocrine changes. Changes in the levels of brain neurotransmitters and their precursors may be involved in both the endocrine and behavioral effects of pinealectomy. To test this possibility, the changes in the concentration of tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 5-hydroxy-3-indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) were studied in 7 brain regions of male and female rats after surgical removal of the pineal gland. Despite a tendency to increased serum tryptophan after pinealectomy, there was no change in brain tryptophan. The tendency to a decrease in hypothalamic 5-HT content was paralleled by a significant decrease in 5-HIAA levels suggesting a reduced rate of synthesis of 5-HT. 5-HT levels in other brain areas were either unchanged or increased after pinealectomy. Changes in brain monoamine neurochemistry do occur after surgical removal of the pineal. The brain appears to be a primary target site for pineal hormones.