Amino Acids

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 107–113 | Cite as

Central l-arginine reduced stress responses are mediated by l-ornithine in neonatal chicks

  • R. Suenaga
  • H. Yamane
  • S. Tomonaga
  • M. Asechi
  • N. Adachi
  • Y. Tsuneyoshi
  • I. Kurauchi
  • H. Sato
  • D. M. Denbow
  • M. Furuse
Article

Summary.

Recently, we observed that central administration of l-arginine attenuated stress responses in neonatal chicks, but the contribution of nitric oxide (NO) to this response was minimal. The sedative and hypnotic effects of l-arginine may be due to l-arginine itself and/or its metabolites, excluding NO. To clarify the mechanism, the effect of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of l-arginine metabolites on behavior under social separation stress was investigated. The i.c.v. injection of agmatine, a guanidino metabolite of l-arginine, had no effect during a 10 min behavioral test. In contrast, the i.c.v. injection of l-ornithine clearly attenuated the stress response in a dose-dependent manner, and induced sleep-like behavior. The l-ornithine concentration in the telencephalon and diencephalon increased following the i.c.v. injection of l-arginine. In addition, several free amino acids including L-alanine, glycine, l-proline and l-glutamic acid concentrations increased in the telencephalon. In conclusion, it appears that l-ornithine, produced by arginase from l-arginine in the brain, plays an important role in the sedative and hypnotic effects of l-arginine observed during a stress response. In addition, several other amino acids having a sedative effect might partly participate in the sedative and hypnotic effects of l-arginine.

Keywords: l-Ornithine – l-Arginine – Agmatine – Intracerebroventricular injection – Social separation stress – Neonatal chick 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Suenaga
    • 1
  • H. Yamane
    • 1
  • S. Tomonaga
    • 1
  • M. Asechi
    • 1
  • N. Adachi
    • 1
  • Y. Tsuneyoshi
    • 1
  • I. Kurauchi
    • 1
  • H. Sato
    • 2
  • D. M. Denbow
    • 3
  • M. Furuse
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Advanced Animal and Marine Bioresources, Graduate School of Bioresources and Bioenvironmental SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Ajinomoto Co. Inc.Kawasaki-kuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Animal and Poultry SciencesVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgU.S.A.

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