Changes in serotonin contents in brain affect metabolic heat production of rabbits in cold.

M. T. Lin, Iok-Hou Pang, S. I. Chern, W. Y. Chia

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Elevating serotonin (5-HT) contents in brain with 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) reduced rectal temperature (Tre) in rabbits after peripheral decarboxylase inhibition with the aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase inhibitor R04-4602 at two ambient temperatures (Ta), 2 and 22 degrees C. The hypothermia was brought about by both an increase in respiratory evaporative heat loss (Eres) and a decrease in metabolic rate (MR) in the cold. At a Ta of 22 degrees C, the hypothermia was achieved solely due to an increase in heat loss. Depleting brain contents of 5-HT with intraventricular, 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) produced an increased Eres and ear blood flow even at Ta of 2 degrees C. Also, MR increased at all but the Ta of 32 degrees C. However, depleting the central and peripheral contents of 5-HT with p-chlorophenylalanine (pCPA) produced lower MR accompanied by lower Eres in the cold compared to the untreated control. Both groups of pCPA-treated and 5,7-DHT-treated animals maintained their Tre within normal limits. The data suggest that changes in 5-HT content in brain affects the MR of rabbits in the cold. Elevating brain content of 5-HT tends to depress the MR response to cold, while depleting brain content of 5-HT tends to enhance the MR response to cold.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1978


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