Role of serotonin in cerebral oxidative stress in rats
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Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter synthesized by the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase using 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) as a substrate. It was recently shown that serotonin and its precursor have powerful antioxidant properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of reduction in 5-HT levels by para-chlorophenylalanine (pCPA) and their restoration by 5-HTP administration on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in rat brain. Serotonin levels were decreased by p-chlorophenylalanine administration. The effect of p-chlorophenylalanine was counteracted by the intraperitoneal administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan. We evaluated the concentration of serotonin, malonyl dialdehyde and the status of antioxidants (GSH, catalase and superoxide dismutase) in brain. The results showed that p-chlorophenylalanine (300 mg/kg) induced a depletion of serotonin concentration and antioxidant status, as well as enhancing malonyl dialdehyde concentration in brain. The exogenous administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan prevented all effects induced by p-chlorophenylalanine in brain tissue. The recovery of the neurotransmitter concentration in brain was related to the reduction of lipid peroxide generation and improved antioxidant status. In conclusion, our study supports the view that the antioxidant properties of serotonin protect against basal oxidative stress in brain.
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Juan R. Muuoz-Castaneda, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Cordoba, Spain