The functional relationship between brain catecholamines and serotoninergic function was studied in stress-naive and chronically immobilized rats after blockade of catecholamine synthesis with α-methyl-p-rosine (αMpT). The levels of noradrenaline (NA), serotonin and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) in pons plus medulla, brainstem, hypothalamus, hippocampus and frontal cortex and those of 3-methoxy, 4-hydroxypheniletileneglicol sulphate (MHPG-SO4) in the hypothalamus were measured by HPLC. Chronic immobilization (IMO) resulted in higher NA levels in pons plus medulla and hypothalamus, the latter area (the only one in which the NA metabolite was determined) also showing slightly elevated MHPG-SO4 levels as compared to stress-naive rats. Chronic IMO did not alter either serotonin or 5-HIAA levels, but acute stress consistently increased 5-HIAA levels in all areas, independently of previous chronic stress. Administration of α-MpT drastically reduced NA and increased 5-HIAA levels in all brain regions excepting the frontal cortex. The effect of the drug on serotoninergic function was not altered by previous chronic exposure to IMO. These data suggest that the noradrenergic system appears to exert a tonic inhibitory effect on serotoninergic activity in the brain, with the intensity of the effect depending on the brain area studied. In addition, chronic stress does not appear to alter the functional relationship between noradrenergic and serotoninergic activities, although interactions might exist in more restricted brain areas; this deserves further study. © 1995.
|Journal||Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1995|
- Chronic stress
- Noradrenergic system
- Serotoninergic system