Human pharmacology of ayahuasca: subjective and cardiovascular effects, monoamine metabolite excretion, and pharmacokinetics. (73/446)

The effects of the South American psychotropic beverage ayahuasca on subjective and cardiovascular variables and urine monoamine metabolite excretion were evaluated, together with the drug's pharmacokinetic profile, in a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. This pharmacologically complex tea, commonly obtained from Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis, combines N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an orally labile psychedelic agent showing 5-hydroxytryptamine2A agonist activity, with monoamine oxidase (MAO)-inhibiting beta-carboline alkaloids (harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine). Eighteen volunteers with prior experience in the use of psychedelics received single oral doses of encapsulated freeze-dried ayahuasca (0.6 and 0.85 mg of DMT/kg of body weight) and placebo. Ayahuasca produced significant subjective effects, peaking between 1.5 and 2 h, involving perceptual modifications and increases in ratings of positive mood and activation. Diastolic blood pressure showed a significant increase at the high dose (9 mm Hg at 75 min), whereas systolic blood pressure and heart rate were moderately and nonsignificantly increased. Cmax values for DMT after the low and high ayahuasca doses were 12.14 ng/ml and 17.44 ng/ml, respectively. Tmax (median) was observed at 1.5 h after both doses. The Tmax for DMT coincided with the peak of subjective effects. Drug administration increased urinary normetanephrine excretion, but, contrary to the typical MAO-inhibitor effect profile, deaminated monoamine metabolite levels were not decreased. This and the negligible harmine plasma levels found suggest a predominantly peripheral (gastrointestinal and liver) site of action for harmine. MAO inhibition at this level would suffice to prevent first-pass metabolism of DMT and allow its access to systemic circulation and the central nervous system.  (+info)

Antidepressant-like effects of apigenin and 2,4,5-trimethoxycinnamic acid from Perilla frutescens in the forced swimming test. (74/446)

We studied the effects of apigenin and 2,4,5-trimethoxycinnamic acid (TMCA) on the behavioral despair test (forced swimming test), and the central noradrenergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic activities in mice. Apigenin at intraperitoneal doses of 12.5 and 25 mg/kg significantly decreased the duration of immobility in the forced swimming test in mice. At 100 mg/kg, the duration of immobility was returned to the control level in the test. On the other hand, TMCA treatment (25-200 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to significantly alter the duration of immobility. Based on the behavioral data, we examined changes in the monoamine turnover in mice having been subjected to forced swimming for 40 min. The monoamine turnover was measured in seven brain regions. Forced swimming exposure induced a significant decrease in dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC)/dopamine (DA) in the striatum and amygdala and in 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)/5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT) in the hypothalamus, and a significant increase in DOPAC/DA in the thalamus and hypothalamus and in 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol (MHPG)/norepinephrine (NE) in the amygdala, frontal cortex, hypothalamus, and midbrain. Apigenin (25 mg/kg) treatment produced attenuation of forced swim test-induced decrease of DA turnover in the amygdala and increase of DA turnover in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, intraperitoneal administration of haloperidol (0.2 mg/kg), a dopamine D(2) antagonist, blocked the apigenin (25 mg/kg)-induced decrease in immobility in the forced swimming test. These behavioral and biochemical results indicate the antidepressant properties of apigenin, which may be mediated by the dopaminergic mechanisms in the mouse brain.  (+info)

Specificity of the neuroendocrine response to orgasm during sexual arousal in men. (75/446)

We have demonstrated that sexual activity produces transient sympathoadrenal activation and a pronounced, long-lasting increase in prolactin in men and women. However, by analyzing endocrine alterations at 10-min intervals, a precise assignment of these changes to the pre-, peri- and postorgasmic periods was not possible. Thus, the current study aimed to accurately differentiate the endocrine response to sexual arousal and orgasm in men using an automatic blood collection technique with 2-min sampling intervals. Blood was drawn continuously before, during and after orgasm over a total period of 40 min in 10 healthy subjects and were compared with samples obtained under a control condition. Sexual activity induced transient increases of plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels during orgasm with a rapid decline thereafter. In contrast, prolactin levels increased immediately after orgasm and remained elevated throughout the experiment. Although oxytocin was acutely increased after orgasm, these changes were not consistent and did not reach statistical significance. Vasopressin, LH, FSH and testosterone plasma concentrations remained unaltered during sexual arousal and orgasm. These data confirm that prolactin is secreted after orgasm and, compared with oxytocin, seems to represent a more reliable and sustained marker for orgasm in man. The results further reinforce a role for prolactin either as a neuroendocrine reproductive reflex or as a feedback mechanism modulating dopaminergic systems in the central nervous system that are responsible for appetitive behavior.  (+info)

Effect of one-week ethanol treatment on monoamine levels and dopaminergic receptors in rat striatum. (76/446)

We studied the effects of ethanol on the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin (5-HT) and their metabolites as well as on D1- and D2-like receptors in the rat striatum. Ethanol (2 or 4 g/kg, po) was administered daily by gavage to male Wistar rats and on the 7th day, 30 min or 48 h after drug administration, the striatum was dissected for biochemical assays. Monoamine and metabolite concentrations were measured by HPLC and D1- and D2-like receptor densities were determined by binding assays. Scatchard analyses showed decreases of 30 and 43%, respectively, in D1- and D2-like receptor densities and no change in dissociation constants (Kd) 48 h after the withdrawal of the dose of 4 g/kg. Ethanol, 2 g/kg, was effective only on the density of D2-like receptors but not on Kd of either receptor. Thirty minutes after the last ethanol injection (4 g/kg), decreases of D2 receptor density (45%) as well as of Kd values (34%) were detected. However, there was no significant effect on D1-like receptor density and a 46% decrease was observed in Kd. An increase in dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), a decrease in norepinephrine, and no alteration in 5-HT levels were demonstrated after 48-h withdrawal of 4 g/kg ethanol. Similar effects were observed in dopamine and DOPAC levels 30 min after drug administration. No alteration in norepinephrine concentration and a decrease in 5-HT levels were seen 30 min after ethanol (4 g/kg) administration. Our findings indicate the involvement of the monoaminergic system in the responses to ethanol.  (+info)

Functional consequences of homo- but not hetero-oligomerization between transporters for the biogenic amine neurotransmitters. (77/446)

Before this study, the human norepinephrine transporter (hNET) was the only member of the biogenic amine neurotransmitter transporter family that had not been demonstrated to be a functional homo-oligomer. Here, using two forms of the transporter, I155C and hNET-myc, with distinct antigenicity and inhibitor sensitivity, we demonstrated that hNET exists as a homo-oligomer. hNET I155C is a functional mutant and is sensitive to inactivation by the sulfhydryl reagent [2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl]methanethiosulfonate, while hNET-myc is resistant to inactivation by this reagent. Coimmunoprecipitation of these two forms demonstrated that a physical interaction exists between norepinephrine transporter monomers. Further characterization of this physical interaction has revealed that the activity of norepinephrine transporters depends on interactions between monomers. Because norepinephrine transporters and serotonin transporters are the only two members of the neurotransmitter transporter family endogenously expressed in the cell membrane of the same cells, placental syncytiotrophoblasts, we tested the ability of norepinephrine transporters and serotonin transporters to associate and function in a hetero-oligomeric form. Similarly, coexpression of hNET-myc with serotonin transporter-FLAG showed a physical interaction in coimmunoprecipitation assays. However, coexpression of serotonin and norepinephrine transporters did not sensitize norepinephrine transporter activity to inhibition by citalopram, a selective serotonin transport inhibitor. Thus, the norepinephrine transporter-serotonin transporter physical association did not produce functional consequences. Based on this, we propose that the transporters for biogenic amine neurotransmitters interact functionally in homo- but not hetero-oligomeric forms.  (+info)

Effects of acupuncture on monoamine neurotransmitters in raphe nuclei in obese rats. (78/446)

Effects of acupuncture on the levels of neurotransmitters in the raphe nuclei were investigated in obese rats. It was found that the levels of tryptophan (Trp) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were increased, and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) level and 5-HT/5-HIAA ratio decreased in the raphe nuclei of the obese group as compared with the normal group; and that acupuncture could produce weight reduction, increase the 5-HT level and 5-HT/5-HIAA ratio, and decrease the contents of Trp and 5-HIAA, but did not change the levels of dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA). It is indicated that benign regulative action of acupuncture on 5-HT and its metabolism in the raphe nuclei is possibly one of the factors for reducing weight by acupuncture.  (+info)

Current research on methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity: animal models of monoamine disruption. (79/446)

Methamphetamine (METH)-induced neurotoxicity is characterized by a long-lasting depletion of striatal dopamine (DA) and serotonin as well as damage to striatal dopaminergic and serotonergic nerve terminals. Several hypotheses regarding the mechanism underlying METH-induced neurotoxicity have been proposed. In particular, it is thought that endogenous DA in the striatum may play an important role in mediating METH-induced neuronal damage. This hypothesis is based on the observation of free radical formation and oxidative stress produced by auto-oxidation of DA consequent to its displacement from synaptic vesicles to cytoplasm. In addition, METH-induced neurotoxicity may be linked to the glutamate and nitric oxide systems within the striatum. Moreover, using knockout mice lacking the DA transporter, the vesicular monoamine transporter 2, c-fos, or nitric oxide synthetase, it was determined that these factors may be connected in some way to METH-induced neurotoxicity. Finally a role for apoptosis in METH-induced neurotoxicity has also been established including evidence of protection of bcl-2, expression of p53 protein, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL), activity of caspase-3. The neuronal damage induced by METH may reflect neurological disorders such as autism and Parkinson's disease.  (+info)

Active dendritic integration of inhibitory synaptic inputs in vivo. (80/446)

Synaptic integration in vivo often involves activation of many afferent inputs whose firing patterns modulate over time. In spinal motoneurons, sustained excitatory inputs undergo enormous enhancement due to persistent inward currents (PICs) that are generated primarily in the dendrites and are dependent on monoaminergic neuromodulatory input from the brain stem to the spinal cord. We measured the interaction between dendritic PICs and inhibition generated by tonic electrical stimulation of nerves to antagonist muscles during voltage clamp in motoneurons in the lumbar spinal cord of the cat. Separate samples of cells were obtained for two different states of monoaminergic input: standard (provided by the decerebrate preparation, which has tonic activity in monoaminergic axons) and minimal (the chloralose anesthetized preparation, which lacks tonic monoaminergic input). In the standard state, steady inhibition that increased the input conductance of the motoneurons by an average of 38% reduced the PIC by 69%. The range of this reduction, from <10% to >100%, was proportional to the magnitude of the applied inhibition. Thus nearly linear integration of synaptic inhibition may occur in these highly active dendrites. In the minimal state, PICs were much smaller, being approximately equal to inhibition-suppressed PICs in the standard state. Inhibition did not further reduce these already small PICs. Overall, these results demonstrate that inhibition from local spinal circuits can oppose the facilitation of dendritic PICs by descending monoaminergic inputs. As a result, local inhibition may also suppress active dendritic integration of excitatory inputs.  (+info)