Effect of neonatal nociceptin or nocistatin imprinting on the brain concentration of biogenic amines and their metabolites

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Noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA), homovanillic acid (HA), serotonin (5HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5HIAA) content of five brain regions (hypothalamus, hippocampus, brainstem, striatum and frontal cortex) and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was measured in adult (three months old) male and female rats treated neonatally with a single dose of 10 μg nociceptin (NC) or 10 μg nocistatin (NS) for hormonal imprinting. The biogenic amine and metabolite content of cerebrospinal fluid was also determined. In NC treated animals the serotonergic, dopaminergic as well as noradrenergic systems were influenced by the imprinting. The 5HT level increased in hypothalamus, the 5HIAA tissue levels were found increased in hypothalamus. Hippocampus and striatum and the HVA levels increased highly significantly in brainstem. Dopamine level decreased significantly in striatum, however in frontal cortex both noradrenalin and 5HIAA level decreased. Nevertheless, in NS-treated rats decreased NA tissue levels were found in hypothalamus, brainstem and frontal cortex. Decreased DA levels were found in the hypothalamus, brainstem and striatum. NS imprinting resulted in decreased HVA level, but increased one in the brainstem. The 5HT levels decreased in the hypothalamus, brainstem, striatum and frontal cortex, while 5HIAA content of CSF, and frontal cortex decreased, and that of hypothalamus, hippocampus and striatum increased. There was no significant difference between genders except in the 5HT tissue levels of NC treated rats. Data presented show that neonatal imprinting both by NC and NS have long-lasting and brain area specific effects. In earlier experiments endorphin imprinting also influenced the serotonergic system suggesting that during labour release of pain-related substances may durably affect the serotonergic (dopaminergic, adrenergic) system which can impress the animals' later behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-287
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2009



  • Biogenic amine
  • Brain
  • Hormonal imprinting
  • Nociceptin
  • Nocistatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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