Short-term erythrosine B-induced inhibition of the brain regional serotonergic activity suppresses motor activity (exploratory behavior) of young adult mammals

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Previous studies showed that repeated ingestion of erythrosine B (artificial food color) developed behavioral hyperactivity, but nothing is known about its single administration effect as well as the neurochemical (s) involvement. The present study provides evidence that a single higher dosage (10, 100 or 200 mg/kg, p.o.) of erythrosine administration to young adult male rats reduced motor activity (MA) maximally at 2 h and brain regional (medulla-pons, hippocampus and hypothalamus) serotonergic activity (measuring steady-state levels of 5-HT and 5-HIAA, pargyline-induced 5-HT accumulation and 5-HIAA declination rate and 5-HT receptor binding) under similar experimental condition. The degree of erythrosine-induced inhibition of both MA and brain regional serotonergic activity was dosage dependent. Lower dosage (1 mg/kg, p.o.) did not affect either of the above. Erythrosine (100 or 200 mg/kg, p.o.)-induced MA suppression was also observed in the presence of specific MAO-A inhibitor, clorgyline (5 mg/kg, i.p.) or MAO-B inhibitor, deprenyl (5 mg/kg, i.p.); but their co-application (5 mg/kg, i.p., each) effectively prevented the erythrosine-induced motor suppression. Altogether these results suggest that a single higher dosage of erythrosine (10–200 mg/kg, p.o.) may reduce MA by reducing serotonergic activity with modulation of central dopaminergic activity depending on the brain regions.

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