Reaction specificity of native and nicked 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine decarboxylase. (1/275)

3,4-Dihydroxyphenylalanine (Dopa) decarboxylase is a stereospecific pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent alpha-decarboxylase that converts L-aromatic amino acids into their corresponding amines. We now report that reaction of the enzyme with D-5-hydroxytryptophan or D-Dopa results in a time-dependent inactivation and conversion of the PLP coenzyme to pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate and PLP-D-amino acid Pictet-Spengler adducts, which have been identified by high performance liquid chromatography. We also show that the reaction specificity of Dopa decarboxylase toward aromatic amines depends on the experimental conditions. Whereas oxidative deamination occurs under aerobic conditions (Bertoldi, M., Moore, P. S., Maras, B., Dominici, P., and Borri Voltattorni, C. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 23954-23959; Bertoldi, M., Dominici, P., Moore, P. S., Maras, B., and Borri Voltattorni, C. (1998) Biochemistry 37, 6552-6561), half-transamination and Pictet-Spengler reactions take place under anaerobic conditions. Moreover, we examined the reaction specificity of nicked Dopa decarboxylase, obtained by selective tryptic cleavage of the native enzyme between Lys334 and His335. Although this enzymatic species does not exhibit either decarboxylase or oxidative deamination activities, it retains a large percentage of the native transaminase activity toward D-aromatic amino acids and displays a slow transaminase activity toward aromatic amines. These transamination reactions occur concomitantly with the formation of cyclic coenzyme-substrate adducts. Together with additional data, we thus suggest that native Dopa decarboxylase can exist as an equilibrium among "open," "half-open," and "closed" forms.  (+info)

Recovery of locomotion after ventral and ventrolateral spinal lesions in the cat. II. Effects of noradrenergic and serotoninergic drugs. (2/275)

The effects of serotoninergic and noradrenergic drugs (applied intrathecally) on treadmill locomotion were evaluated in two adult cats subjected to a ventral and ventrolateral spinal lesion (T13). Despite the extensive spinal lesion, severely damaging important descending pathways such as the reticulo- and vestibulospinal tracts, both cats recovered quadrupedal voluntary locomotion. As detailed in a previous paper, the locomotor recovery occurred in three stages defined as early period, when the animal could not walk with its hindlimbs, recovery period, when progressive improvement occurred, and plateau period, when a more stable locomotor performance was observed. At this latter stage, the cats suffered from postural and locomotor deficits, such as poor lateral stability, irregular stepping of the hindlimbs, and inconsistent homolateral fore- and hindlimb coupling. The present study aimed at evaluating the potential of serotoninergic and/or noradrenergic drugs to improve the locomotor abilities in the early and late stages. Both cats were implanted chronically with an intrathecal cannula and electromyographic (EMG) electrodes, which allowed determination, under similar recording conditions, of the locomotor performance pre- and postlesion and comparisons of the effects of different drugs. EMG and kinematic analyses showed that norepinephrine (NE) injected in early and plateau periods improved the regularity of the hindlimb stepping and stabilized the interlimb coupling, permitting to maintain constant locomotion for longer periods of time. Methoxamine, the alpha1-agonist (tested only at the plateau period), had similar effects. In contrast, the alpha2-agonist, clonidine, deteriorated walking. Serotoninergic drugs, such as the neurotransmitter itself, serotonin (5HT), the precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP), and the agonist quipazine improved the locomotion by increasing regularity of the hindlimb stepping and by increasing the step cycle duration. In contrast, the 5HT1A agonist 8-hydroxy-dipropylaminotetralin (DPAT) caused foot drag in one of the cats, resulting in frequent stumbling. Injection of combination of methoxamine and quipazine resulted in maintained, regular stepping with smooth movements and good lateral stability. Our results show that the effects of drugs can be integrated to the residual voluntary locomotion and improve some of its postural aspects. However, this work shows clearly that the effects of drugs (such as clonidine) may depend on whether or not the spinal lesion is complete. In a clinical context, this may suggest that different classes of drugs could be used in patients with different types of spinal cord injuries. Possible mechanisms underlying the effect of noradrenergic and serotoninergic drugs on the locomotion after partial spinal lesions are discussed.  (+info)

Increased dopaminergic and 5-hydroxytryptaminergic activities in male rat brain following long-term treatment with anabolic androgenic steroids. (3/275)

1. The effects of treating groups of rats with four different anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) (testosterone, nandrolone, methandrostenolone, and oxymetholone) on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) neurones in different brain regions were examined. The AAS was injected six times with 1 week's interval and the rats were sacrificed 2 days after the final injection. 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), DA and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) were measured. The effect on DA and 5-HT synthesis rate was analysed as the accumulation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-alanine (DOPA) and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), respectively, after inhibition of the amino acid decarboxylase with NSD-1015 (3-hydroxy-benzylhydrazine dihydrochloride). Additionally, the monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity was analysed in the hypothalamus. 2. The DOPAC + HVA/DA ratio was increased in the striatum in all treatment groups. However, the synthesis rate of DA was significantly increased only in the methandrostenolone treated group. 3. The 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio was increased in all treatment groups in the hippocampus, in the frontal cortex in the methandrostenolone-treated animals and in the hypothalamus in the testosterone- and oxymetholone-treated rats, while the 5-HT synthesis rate was not affected by the AAS-treatments. 4. The MAO-A activity was increased in the oxymetholone-treated rats while the other treatment groups were unaffected. The MAO-B activity was not changed. 5. The results indicate that relatively high doses of AAS increase dopaminergic and 5-hydroxytryptaminergic metabolism in male rat brain, probably due to enhanced turnover in these monaminergic systems.  (+info)

Local treatments of dorsal raphe nucleus induce changes in serotonergic activity in rat major cerebral arteries. (4/275)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Rat major cerebral arteries seem to receive serotonergic fibers originating from the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), but little is known about their function. The aim of our present work was to establish a functional relationship between this brain stem nucleus and the cerebral blood vessels by studying the effects of several treatments in the DRN on cerebrovascular serotonergic activity. METHODS: Serotonin, clomipramine, 8-OH-DPAT, and WAY-100635 were administered in DRN. A stereotaxically localized electrode allowed the electrical stimulation of this brain stem nucleus. Serotonergic activity was appraised in major cerebral arteries, striatum, and hippocampus from 5-hydroxytryptophan accumulation after aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase inhibition with NSD-1015. RESULTS: Serotonin significantly decreased serotonergic activity in major cerebral arteries and striatum without affecting it in hippocampus. This reduction was blocked by previous injection of WAY-100635 in DRN. Local administration of 8-OH-DPAT or clomipramine elicited an effect similar to that of serotonin, whereas that of WAY-100635 did not modify serotonergic activity in either of the tissues. Electrical stimulation of DRN significantly increased serotonergic activity in major cerebral arteries and striatum but not in hippocampus. CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm the presence of a serotonergic innervation in rat major cerebral arteries functionally related to DRN. 5-HT(1A) receptor activation partly mediates the action of serotonin in DRN. A serotonergic tone acting on these somatodendritic receptors was not clearly found.  (+info)

Receptors and neurotransmitters involved in the dual modulation of prolactin release by the serotoninergic system in pregnant and lactating rats. (5/275)

The receptors and neurotransmitter pathways that may participate in the inhibitory action of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) on prolactin release during late pregnancy and lactation in rats were studied. Administration of the 5HT synthesis inhibitor, p-chlorophenylalanine, to late pregnant rats induced a significant increase in serum prolactin concentrations at 17:00 h on day 19 of pregnancy that was partially blocked by injections of the 5HT precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan, or the 5HT agonists, 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin hydrobromide (S1a), 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (S2) and N-(3-chlorophenyl)imidodicarbonimide diamide HCl (S3), but not by RU 24969 (S1b) or 1-meta-(chlorophenyl)-piperazine-2-HCl (S1a-2c). The 5HT neurotoxins, fenfluramine and p-chloroamphetamine, which selectively destroy fine axon serotoninergic fibres but not coarse ones, prevented the increase in circulating prolactin observed at 18:00 h on pro-oestrus and on day 21 of pregnancy, but did not modify serum prolactin concentrations at 17:00 h on day 19 of pregnancy. Administration of the adrenergic antagonists, metoprolol or prazosin, also prevented the stimulatory effects of p-chlorophenylalanine or ketanserin in pregnant rats on day 19 (17:00 h) or on days 10-12 (16:30 h) in lactating rats separated from their litters. Administration of p-chlorophenylalanine to pregnant rats on day 19 reduced dopamine concentrations in the arcuate nucleus and in the anterior hypothalamus and noradrenaline concentrations in the anterior hypothalamus and the suprachiasmatic nucleus. These results indicate that the inhibitory actions of 5HT on prolactin release in pregnant and lactating rats are mediated by S1a, S2a and S3 receptors and by the coarse axon serotoninergic fibres. In addition, the inhibitory actions of 5HT may modulate the action of a stimulatory adrenergic pathway, as well as the concentrations of noradrenaline and dopamine in different hypothalamic areas, which, in turn, particularly arcuate nucleus dopamine, regulate prolactin release.  (+info)

Paradoxical actions of the serotonin precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan on the activity of identified serotonergic neurons in a simple motor circuit. (6/275)

Neurotransmitter synthesis is regulated by a variety of factors, yet the effect of altering transmitter content on the operation of neuronal circuits has been relatively unexplored. We used electrophysiological, electrochemical, and immunohistochemical techniques to investigate the effects of augmenting the serotonin (5-HT) content of identified serotonergic neurons embedded in a simple motor circuit. The dorsal swim interneurons (DSIs) are serotonergic neurons intrinsic to the central pattern generator (CPG) for swimming in the mollusc Tritonia diomedea. As expected, treatment with the serotonin precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) increased the intensity of serotonin immunolabeling and enhanced the potency of synaptic and modulatory actions elicited by the DSIs. It also greatly enhanced the ability of the DSIs to evoke rhythmic CPG activity. After 5-HTP treatment, microvoltammetric measurements indicated an increase in a putative 5-HT electrochemical signal during swim CPG activation. Paradoxically, the spiking activity of the serotonergic neurons decreased to a single burst at the onset of the rhythmic motor program, whereas the overall duration of the episode remained about the same. 5-HTP treatment gradually reduced the rhythmicity of the CPG output. Thus, more serotonin did not result in a more robust swim motor program, suggesting that serotonin synthesis must be kept within certain limits for the circuit to function correctly and indicating that altering neurotransmitter synthesis can have serious consequences for the output of neural networks.  (+info)

Use of neurotransmitter precursors for treatment of depression. (7/275)

Insufficient activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine is a central element of the model of depression most widely held by neurobiologists today. In the late 1970s and 1980s, numerous studies were performed in which depressed patients were treated with the serotonin precursors L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), and the dopamine and norepinephrine precursors tyrosine and L-phenylalanine. This article briefly reviews the published research on the efficacy of neurotransmitter precursors in treating depression, highlights the findings of studies, and discusses issues regarding the interpretation of those findings. The nature of the studies makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding the efficacy of neurotransmitter precursors for treating depression. While there is evidence that precursor loading may be of therapeutic value, particularly for the serotonin precursors 5-HTP and tryptophan, more studies of suitable design and size might lead to more conclusive results. However, the evidence suggests neurotransmitter precursors can be helpful in patients with mild or moderate depression.  (+info)

Non-linear membrane properties of sacral sphincter motoneurones in the decerebrate cat. (8/275)

1. Responses to pudendal afferent stimulation and depolarizing intracellular current injection were examined in sacral sphincter motoneurones in decerebrate cats. 2. In 16 animals examined, 2-10 s trains of electrical stimulation of pudendal afferents evoked sustained sphincter motoneurone activity lasting from 5 to >50 s after stimulation. The sustained response was observed in: 11 animals in the absence of any drugs; two animals after the intravenous administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP; <= 20 mg kg-1); one animal in which methoxamine was perfused onto the ventral surface of the exposed spinal cord; and two animals following the administration of intravenous noradrenergic agonists. 3. Extracellular and intracellular recordings from sphincter motoneurones revealed that the persistent firing evoked by afferent stimulation could be terminated by motoneurone membrane hyperpolarization during micturition or by intracellular current injection. 4. Intracellular recordings revealed that 22/40 sphincter motoneurones examined displayed a non-linear, steep increase in the membrane potential in response to depolarizing ramp current injection. The mean voltage threshold for this non-linear membrane response was -43 +/- 3 mV. Five of the 22 cells displaying the non-linear membrane response were recorded prior to the administration of 5-HTP; 17 after the intravenous administration of 5-HTP (<= 20 mg kg-1). 5. It is concluded that sphincter motoneurones have a voltage-sensitive, non-linear membrane response to depolarization that could contribute to sustained sphincter motoneurone firing during continence.  (+info)