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Different acute effects of the tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitors alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine and 3-iodo-L-tyrosine on hypothalamic noradrenaline activity and adrenocorticotrophin release in the rat


Computerized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques using selected ion monitoring and deuterated internal standards were used to assay simultaneously the medial basal hypothalamic concentrations of dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) and their major metabolites in individual rats 30 min after the administration of two different inhibitors of tyrosine hydroxylase, alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (alpha-MT) and 3-iodo-L-tyrosine (MIT). Consistent with inhibition of DA synthesis, administration of both alpha-MT and MIT resulted in marked reductions (P less than 0.005) in the hypothalamic concentrations of DA and its metabolite homovanillic acid as well as in highly significant increases in prolactin secretion. alpha-MT administration, but not MIT, resulted in a highly significant decrease in NA concentration and a highly significant increase in the concentration of the NA metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethyleneglycol (DHPG). The hypothalamic ratio DHPG/NA was thus markedly increased (P less than 0.005) by alpha-MT indicating increased NA neuronal activity. alpha-MT administration also resulted in increased ACTH secretion (P less than 0.0005), an effect not observed following MIT. It is proposed that the effects on hypothalamic NA activity and ACTH secretion caused by alpha-MT are stress-mediated and unrelated to tyrosine hydroxylase inhibition. MIT is devoid of these effects but exhibits blockade activity, thus indicating it to be a preferable drug for the acute inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase in neuroendocrine investigations.

Type Journal
ISBN 0004-9417 (Print)
Authors Smythe, G. A.;Bradshaw, J. E. :
Publisher Name Aust J Biol Sci
Published Date 1983-01-01
Published Volume 36
Published Issue 5-6
Published Pages 519-23
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version