The formation of 3H-serotonin (5HT) from 3H-tryptophan (TRY) in vivo and its utilization have been studied in the rat brain. The effect of stress induced by mild electric shocks applied to the feet on 5HT synthesis and utilization was examined. This stress led to a slight increase in the 5HT level in the brain stem-mesencephalon; this effect was enhanced in animals pretreated 42 hr earlier with a tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor (p-chlorophenylalamine). The formation of 3H-5HT from 3H-TRY was significantly increased in the brain of stressed animals and the utilization of this labelled amine synthesized endogenously was markedly accelerated during the stress situation.
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