Noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin: Different effects of psychological stress on brain biogenic amines in mice and rats
Johnson, Elizabeth O.
Malamas, Michael Ph
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The effect of restmint stress on central neurotransmission was evaluated in mice and rats. Noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) levels and their primary metabolites were measured in discrete brain regions following exposure to stress. Mice and rats demonstrated a similar response to stress in some brain regions. Both species responded to stress with lower NA and 5-HT in the locus coeruleus compared to non-stressed controls. Dopaminergic activity, assessed by DA turnover, was elevated in the hypothalamus. While DA turnover was suppressed in the amygdala, 5-HT turnover was similarly elevated in both species. In most cases, however, there were differences in biogenic neurotransmission between mice and rats in response to stress. In particular, NA levels were suppressed by stress in the dorsal cortex of mice, but in the rats NA levels were decreased in the hypothalamus. While stress produced lower DA levels in the hypothalamus, DA levels demonstrated a marked increase in the amygdala of mice. Stress was also associated with a decrease in DA levels in the rat striatum and with an increase of DA turnover in the locus coeruleus of mice. On the other hand, 5-HT was suppressed in the mouse striatum and in the rat hypothalamus and amygdala, while 5-HT turnover was markedly decreased in the hippocampus and dorsal cortex of rats alone. In conclusion, the changes in the central neurotransmission which are evoked by stress appear to be species-specific in most cases, a fact which may trigger discrete alterations in homeostatic mechanisms.