Monoamine Neurotransmitters and Their Metabolites in the Mature Rabbit Brain Following Induction of Hydrocephalus

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Abstract

Functional and behavioral disturbances associated with hydrocephalus may be due in part to altered neurotransmitter function in the brain. Hydrocephalus was induced in adult rabbits by injection of silicone oil into the cisterna magna. These and controls were killed 3 days, 1 and 4 weeks post-injection. Tissue concentrations of norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and the metabolites 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), homovanillic acid (HVA), and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels were determined in fifteen brain regions using HPLC. There were decreases in hypothalamic and medullary dopamine, transient decreases in basal ganglia serotonin, increases in thalamic noradrenaline, and increases in hypothalamic and thalamic epinephrine. Changes in the primary neurotransmitters may be attributable to damage of their axonal projection systems. Metabolite concentrations increased in the cerebrum. Reduced clearance of extracellular fluid which accompanies cerebrospinal fluid stasis may explain the accumulation of metabolites.

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