Acute effects of moclobemide and deprenyl on 5-HT synthesis rates in the rat brain: An autoradiographic study
Nishi K, Muck-Seler D, Hasegawa S, Watanabe A, Diksic M.
Cone Neurosurgical Research Laboratory,
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery,
and Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital,
McGill University,
3801 University Street, Montreal, Quebec,
Canada H3A2B4.
Brain Res Bull. 2006 Oct 16;70(4-6):368-77.


Serotonin (5-HT), norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) released from nerve terminals in the brain are primarily removed from the synaptic cleft by a reuptake mechanism. In part, the homeostasis is maintained by monoamine oxidase (MAO) deamination achieved primarily intracellularly. The present study's aim was to examine the effect of the acute administration of the MAO inhibitors, moclobemide (a MAO-A inhibitor) and deprenyl (a MAO-B inhibitor), on 5-HT synthesis rates, measured in discrete regions of the rat brain by an autoradiographic method, using alpha-[14C]methyl-l-tryptophan as a tracer. MAO inhibitors have different effects on 5-HT synthesis rates in the cell bodies and areas of the nerve terminals. Moclobemide (10 mg/kg, i.p. 30 min before the tracer injection) and deprenyl (3 mg/kg, i.p. 2 h before the tracer injection) decreased the 5-HT synthesis rates in the dorsal (-18% and -22%) and median (-22% and -33%) raphe, respectively. Moclobemide also significantly decreased 5-HT synthesis in the entire nerve terminal areas investigated. The reductions were between 23% (cingulate cortex) and 50% (locus coeruleus). Deprenyl did not significantly affect 5-HT synthesis in the nerve terminals. The present results suggest that MAO-A, and to a lesser extent, MAO-B, are involved in the regulation of 5-HT synthesis in the rat brain. The mechanism(s) of MAO inhibitors' action on 5-HT synthesis in the raphe nuclei are probably related to an increase in the extraneuronal 5-HT concentration and also to the interaction between the serotonergic and catecholaminergic neurons. The reduction of 5-HT synthesis in the raphe nuclei likely occurs by an action of extracellular 5-HT via the dendritic autoreceptors with a possible contribution from the action of extracellular DA and NE. In the terminal regions, the most likely mechanism is via the presynaptic autoreceptors through which elevated extraneuronal 5-HT acts on synthesis control. However, there is also a possibility that the elevation in intraneuronal 5-HT directly inhibits its synthesis, especially following deprenyl treatment. A great influence of moclobemide on 5-HT synthesis could be related to its antidepressant action.
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