The tryptophan hydroxylase activity of individual nuclei of the limbic system, hypothalamus, and midbrain was determined after various endocrine manipulations in an attempt to identify specific endocrine-responsive serotonergic structures in the rat brain. Following adrenalectomy, thyroidectomy, castration, or treatment with pharmacological doses of dexamethasone, testosterone, or thyroxine, no changes in tryptophan hydroxylase activity occurred in any of the areas of brain examined. Furthermore, in large sections of the hypothalamus and midbrain, total tryptophan hydroxylase activity was unaltered, and no changes in Km for substrate or co-factor were found after adrenalectomy. This study, therefore, has failed to detect any hormonally responsive tryptophan hydroxylase activity in the rat brain. These findings suggest that endocrineinduced alterations in serotonin turnover, if they occur, do so without measurable changes in the activity or kinetic properties of tryptophan hydroxylase.
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