The aim of this study was to test our hypothesis that the brain functions as an endocrine organ before the blood-brain barrier is formed. A model of drug-inhibited serotonin synthesis in the brain using a single stereotactic administration of p-chlorophenylalanine, an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis, was developed. The inhibitor dose inducing the maximum effect in the brain and no effect on serotonin synthesis in the periphery was experimentally selected. The concentration of serotonin and its metabolites (5-hydroxytryptophan and 5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid) was studied by high performance liquid chromatography in the brain, duodenum, and blood (separately in plasma and platelets). The optimal p-chlorophenylalanine dose (200 mg/kg) was shown to induce a sharp decrease in the brain level of serotonin (70%), a moderate decrease in plasma (16%) and platelets (26%), and an insignificant decrease in the duodenum (12%). At the same time, this dose did not decrease the 5-hydroxytryptophan level in the intestine. This suggests that the decrease in the blood level of serotonin was due to the inhibition of its synthesis in the brain, whereas the decrease in the duodenum level of serotonin was due to the compensatory release to blood while its synthetic rate remained unaltered. Thus, the developing brain before the blood-brain barrier formation was shown to secrete serotonin into blood.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 14, 2009
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