L-Tyrosine availability affects basal and stimulated catecholamine indices in prefrontal cortex and striatum of the rat

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We previously found that L-tyrosine (L-TYR) but not D-TYR administered by reverse dialysis elevated catecholamine synthesis in vivo in medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and striatum of the rat (Brodnik et al., 2012). We now report L-TYR effects on extracellular levels of catecholamines and their metabolites. In MPFC, reverse dialysis of L-TYR elevated in vivo levels of dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) (L-TYR 250–1000 μM), homovanillic acid (HVA) (L-TYR 1000 μM) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) (L-TYR 500–1000 μM). In striatum L-TYR 250 μM elevated DOPAC. We also examined L-TYR effects on extracellular dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) levels during two 30 min pulses (P2 and P1) of K+ (37.5 mM) separated by t = 2.0 h. L-TYR significantly elevated the ratio P2/P1 for DA (L-TYR 125 μM) and NE (L-TYR 125–250 μM) in MPFC but lowered P2/P1 for DA (L-TYR 250 μM) in striatum. Finally, we measured DA levels in brain slices using ex-vivo voltammetry. Perfusion with L-TYR (12.5–50 μM) dose-dependently elevated stimulated DA levels in striatum. In all the above studies, D-TYR had no effect. We conclude that acute increases within the physiological range of L-TYR levels can increase catecholamine metabolism and efflux in MPFC and striatum. Chronically, such repeated increases in L-TYR availability could induce adaptive changes in catecholamine transmission while amplifying the metabolic cost of catecholamine synthesis and degradation. This has implications for neuropsychiatric conditions in which neurotoxicity and/or disordered L-TYR transport have been implicated.

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