Influence of cysteamine and cysteine on open-field behaviour, and on brain concentrations of catecholamines, somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, and corticotropin releasing hormone in the rat

L. Vécsei, R. Ekman, C. Alling, E. Widerlöv

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Cysteamine (1.95 or 3.90 mM/kg) administered subcutaneously (sc) markedly decreased the open-field activity of the rats, while the structurally related amino acid cysteine had only minor influence. Cysteamine (1.95 or 3.90 mM/kg) reduced the noradrenaline and increased the dopamine and dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC) levels in the hypothalamus. In striatum the drug decreased both the noradrenaline (1.95 or 3.90 mM/kg) and dopamine (3.90 mM/kg) levels without influencing the DOPAC content. Neither the hypothalamic nor the striatal catecholamines are influenced by administration of equimolar doses of cysteine. Cysteamine (1.95 or 3.90 mM/kg) decreased the somatostatin levels both in the hypothalamus and in the striatum without influencing neuropeptide Y (NPY) and corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) concentrations. Cysteine administered in equimolar doses did not influence the peptide levels in these brain structures. These data suggest that the cysteamine-induced behavioural changes are related to the decrease of brain noradrenaline and somatostatin concentrations. The structurally related amino acid cystein does not influence the behaviour or the central monoaminergic and peptidergic concentrations in the hypothalamus and striatum of rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1989



  • Catecholamines
  • corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH)
  • cysteamine
  • cysteine
  • neuropeptide Y (NPY)
  • open field behaviour
  • rats
  • somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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