Correlates of sleep and waking in Drosophila melanogaster. (17/446)

Drosophila exhibits a circadian rest-activity cycle, but it is not known whether fly rest constitutes sleep or is mere inactivity. It is shown here that, like mammalian sleep, rest in Drosophila is characterized by an increased arousal threshold and is homeostatically regulated independently of the circadian clock. As in mammals, rest is abundant in young flies, is reduced in older flies, and is modulated by stimulants and hypnotics. Several molecular markers modulated by sleep and waking in mammals are modulated by rest and activity in Drosophila, including cytochrome oxidase C, the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein BiP, and enzymes implicated in the catabolism of monoamines. Flies lacking one such enzyme, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, show increased rest after rest deprivation. These results implicate the catabolism of monoamines in the regulation of sleep and waking in the fly and suggest that Drosophila may serve as a model system for the genetic dissection of sleep.  (+info)

In vivo effects of the 5-HT(6) antagonist SB-271046 on striatal and frontal cortex extracellular concentrations of noradrenaline, dopamine, 5-HT, glutamate and aspartate. (18/446)

Although the 5-HT(6) receptor subtype was identified some 5 years ago, very little is known about its function within the brain. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, the neurochemical effects of a selective 5-HT(6) receptor ligand. Using in vivo microdialysis in the freely moving rat, we evaluated the effects of the selective 5-HT(6) receptor antagonist SB-271046 by simultaneous measurement of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), glutamate and aspartate from the striatum and frontal cortex. SB-271046 did not alter basal levels of 5-HT, DA and NA in either brain region. Similarly, there was no change basal levels of either of the excitatory amino acids within the striatum. In contrast, administration of SB-271046 (10 mg kg(-1) s.c.) produced a significant (P<0.05), tetrodotoxin-dependent, increase in extracellular levels of both glutamate and aspartate within the frontal cortex, reaching maximum values of 375.4+/-82.3 and 215. 3+/-62.1% of preinjection values, respectively.  (+info)

Synergistic effects of interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha: central monoamine, corticosterone, and behavioral variations. (19/446)

The proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) influence neuroendocrine activity, promote central neurotransmitter alterations, and induce a constellation of symptoms collectively referred to as sickness behaviors. These cytokines may also elicit anxiety and anhedonia, and have been associated with psychological disturbances in humans. In the present investigation, systemic IL-1beta and TNF-alpha dose-dependently and synergistically disrupted consumption of a highly palatable food source (chocolate milk), possibly reflecting anorexia or anhedonia engendered by the treatments. As well, these cytokines synergistically increased plasma corticosterone levels. Although IL-1beta and TNF-alpha provoked variations of amine turnover in the hypothalamus, locus coeruleus, and central amygdala, synergistic effects were not evident in this respect. Nevertheless, in view of the central amine variations induced by the cytokines, it is suggested that immune activation may come to influence complex behavioral processes, as well as affective state.  (+info)

Skin darkening, a potential social signal in subordinate arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus): the regulatory role of brain monoamines and pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides. (20/446)

Arctic charr were allowed to interact in groups of three for 5 days. Skin darkness was quantified by measuring the mean brightness of individual fish before and after social interaction. Brain levels of monoamines and monoamine metabolites and plasma concentrations of cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), N-acetyl-(beta)-endorphin and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) were analysed. The results show that social subordination resulted in a significant skin darkening. Furthermore, plasma concentrations of alpha-MSH, ACTH and cortisol were elevated in subordinates, and these fish also displayed elevated levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the telencephalon. The ratio of [5-HIAA] to serotonin [5-HT] was increased in several brain areas. In addition, the ratio of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) to norepinephrine (NE) concentrations was significantly increased in the optic tectum of subordinate fish. Skin darkness following social interaction showed a significant positive correlation with plasma levels of alpha-MSH. Plasma levels of ACTH and alpha-MSH were both positively correlated with that of cortisol. Brain [5-HIAA]/[5-HT] ratios were positively correlated with circulating plasma levels of ACTH, and a similar positive correlation was seen between [MHPG]/[NE] ratios in the optic tectum and plasma levels of ACTH, alpha-MSH and N-acetyl-beta-endorphin. In contrast, hypothalamic [MHPG]/[NE] ratios displayed a negative correlation with plasma alpha-MSH concentrations. The present study demonstrates that social stress induces skin darkening in Arctic charr and that this effect could be mediated by a stress-induced increase in the levels of alpha-MSH in the circulation. Furthermore, the results suggest that 5-HT and NE in the central nervous system could be factors regulating the pituitary release of ACTH and alpha-MSH.  (+info)

Homocysteine, folate, methylation, and monoamine metabolism in depression. (21/446)

OBJECTIVES: Previous studies suggest that folate deficiency may occur in up to one third of patients with severe depression, and that treatment with the vitamin may enhance recovery of the mental state. There are, however, difficulties in interpreting serum and red cell folate assays in some patients, and it has been suggested that total plasma homocysteine is a more sensitive measure of functional folate (and vitamin B12) deficiency. Other studies suggest a link between folate deficiency and impaired metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), which have been implicated in mood disorders. A study of homocysteine, folate, and monoamine metabolism has, therefore, been undertaken in patients with severe depression. METHODS: In 46 inpatients with severe DSM III depression, blood counts, serum and red cell folate, serum vitamin B12, total plasma homocysteine, and, in 28 patients, CSF folate, S-adenosylmethionine, and the monoamine neurotransmitter metabolites 5HIAA, HVA, and MHPG were examined. Two control groups comprised 18 healthy volunteers and 20 patients with neurological disorders, the second group undergoing CSF examination for diagnostic purposes. RESULTS: Twenty four depressed patients (52%) had raised total plasma homocysteine. Depressed patients with raised total plasma homocysteine had significant lowering of serum, red cell, and CSF folate, CSF S-adenosylmethionine and all three CSF monoamine metabolites. Total plasma homocysteine was significantly negatively correlated with red cell folate in depressed patients, but not controls. CONCLUSIONS: Utilising total plasma homocysteine as a sensitive measure of functional folate deficiency, a biological subgroup of depression with folate deficiency, impaired methylation, and monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism has been identified. Detection of this subgroup, which will not be achieved by routine blood counts, is important in view of the potential benefit of vitamin replacement.  (+info)

Superior water maze performance and increase in fear-related behavior in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase-deficient mouse together with monoamine changes in cerebellum and ventral striatum. (22/446)

Nitric oxide (NO) has been implicated in the control of emotion, learning, and memory. We have examined endothelial NO synthase-deficient mice (eNOS-/-) in terms of habituation to an open field, elevated plus-maze behavior, Morris water maze performance, and changes in cerebral monoamines. In the open field, eNOS-/- animals were less active than wild-type controls but showed unimpaired habituation. In the plus-maze, an anxiogenic effect was observed. Proceeding from previous findings of deficits in hippocampal and neocortical long-term potentiation (LTP) in our eNOS-/- mice, we investigated whether these animals also express deficits in learning tasks that have been linked to hippocampal function and LTP. Unexpectedly, eNOS gene disruption led to accelerated place learning in the water maze. Furthermore, during long-term retention and reversal learning, eNOS-/- mice showed improved performance. In a cued version of the water maze task, eNOS-/- and control mice did not differ, implying that the superior performance of eNOS-/- animals on the former tasks cannot be attributed solely to differences in sensorimotor capacities. The neurochemical evaluation of the eNOS-/- mice revealed increases in the concentrations of the serotonin metabolite 5-HIAA in the cerebellum, together with an accelerated serotonin turnover in the frontal cortex. Furthermore, eNOS-/- mice had a higher dopamine turnover in the ventral striatum. These findings are discussed in terms of possible concomitant effects on physiological parameters, such as a decreased reactivity of GABAergic neurotransmission or changes in vascular functions, and effects on behavioral processes related to reinforcement, learning, and emotion.  (+info)

Bicuculline administration into ventromedial hypothalamus: effects on fear and regional brain monoamines and GABA concentrations in rats. (23/446)

The effects of bicuculline methiodide administration into ventromedial hypothalamus (15 ng per site, bilaterally) on fear behavior and monoamines (NA, DA, 5-HT) and GABA in structures of the brain defensive system (hypothalamus, midbrain gray matter, amygdala, hippocampus and frontal cortex) were studied. Fear behavior was examined in the modified version of light-dark transition test. The time out from the illuminated compartment of chamber, the time spent there and number of returns to the illuminated compartment was measured. Additionally motor activity, i.e., number of crossings and rearings in dark as well as in the illuminated part of compartment, was registered. Blockade of GABAA receptors in the ventromedial hypothalamus resulted in increased fear behavior, i.e. decrease of time out from illuminated compartment and decrease of the time spent there. Motor behavior remained unchanged. HPLC analysis showed reduction of GABA concentration in all investigated brain structures. An increase of NA concentration in all examined structures with exception of the hypothalamus without effect on MHPG/NA was observed as well. Dopamine level remained unchanged, but DOPAC/DA ratio increased in all structures, except frontal cortex. Also HVA/DA ratio increased in the hypothalamus and midbrain. 5-HT concentration increased only in midbrain, 5-HIAA increased in midbrain and in frontal cortex, and 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio increased only in frontal cortex. These results indicate that GABA-ergic and monoaminergic systems remain in functional interactions and that these interactions may play an important role in the neurochemical regulation of fear behavior. The possible mechanism of GABA--monoaminergic interactions is discussed.  (+info)

Tryptophan and tyrosine catabolic pattern in neuropsychiatric disorders. (24/446)

Catabolism of tryptophan and tyrosine in relation to the isoprenoid pathway was studied in neurological and psychiatric disorders. The concentration of trytophan, quinolinic acid, kynurenic acid, serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid was found to be higher in the plasma of patients with all these disorders; while that of tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine was lower. There was increase in free fatty acids and decrease in albumin (factors modulating tryptophan transport) in the plasma of these patients. Concentration of digoxin, a modulator of amino acid transport, and the activity of HMG CoA reductase, which synthesizes digoxin, were higher in these patients; while RBC membrane Na+-K+ ATPase activity showed a decrease. Concentration of plasma ubiquinone (part of which is synthesised from tyrosine) and magnesium was also lower in these patients. No morphine could be detected in the plasma of these patients except in MS. On the other hand, strychnine and nicotine were detectable. These results indicate hypercatabolism of tryptophan and hypocatabolism of tyrosine in these disorders, which could be a consequence of the modulating effect of hypothalamic digoxin on amino acid transport.  (+info)