Effect of immobilization stress on serotonin content and turnover in regions of the rat brain

William W. Morgan, P. Kevin Rudeen, Karla A. Pfeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Sprague-Dawley rats were stressed by immobilization from 30 to 300 minutes and the effects on serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) content were determined in the cerebral cortex, diencephalon, striatum, hippocampus and the brain stem. In a subsequent study 5-HT turnover rate in these brain areas was estimated by measuring 5-HIAA accumulation 0, 30, 60 and 90 minutes after probenecid. The content of 5-HIAA and the turnover rate of 5-HT were significantly increased in the cerebral cortex shortly after the onset of immobilization. The content of 5-HIAA in the brainstem was increased by immobilization although 5-HT turnover rate was not increased. Short term increases in 5-HIAA content were observed in the striatum and hippocampus. However, no significant changes in 5-HT turnover rate were observed in either of these 2 brain areas. Immobilization did not affect 5-HIAA content or 5-HT turnover in the diencephalon. The sensitivity of the serotonergic system in the cerebral cortex to immobilization stress suggests that this brain region could be used in future studies of the interrelationships between stress and the brain serotonergic system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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