, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 227–237 | Cite as

Bromocriptine, dihydroergotoxine, methysergide, d-LSD, CF 25-397, and 29-712: Effects on the metabolism of the biogenic amines in the brain of the rat

  • H. R. Bürki
  • H. Asper
  • W. Ruch
  • P. E. Züger


The effects of the ergolene derivatives bromocriptine, dihydroergotoxine, methysergide, d-LSD, CF 25-397, and 29-712 on the metabolism of the biogenic amines in the brain of the rat were investigated.

All six ergolene derivatives were found to increase the concentration of 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethylene glycol sulphate in the brain stem, i.e., to increase the turnover of noradrenaline (NA). Since in brain homogenates the agents inhibited the binding of 3H-dihydroergocryptine to α-adrenoceptors, but only weakly inhibited the binding of 3H-alprenolol to β-adrenoceptors, it is suggested that the increased turnover of NA may be a consequence of a blockade of α-adrenoceptors by ergolenes.

All of the ergolenes increased the concentration of serotonin (5-HT) in the cortex, but only bromocriptine and 29-712 increased the concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), the other compounds decreasing the concentration of this metabolite, i.e., inhibiting 5-HT turnover. Reserpine-induced PGO waves in the cat were inhibited by all six compounds, bromocriptine and 29-712 being the least active. Both of these findings suggest that the ergolenes possess serotonergic activity. The increase in the concentration of 5-HIAA after bromocriptine and 29-712 may be secondary to some action on other systems.

The actions of the ergolenes on the metabolism of dopamine (DA) in the striatum are more complex. Bromocriptine, 29-712, and, to a much lesser extent, dihydroergotoxine reduced the concentration of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), i.e., they inhibited DA turnover. These findings are compatible with the proposed dopaminergic activity of the drugs. CF 25-397 caused a slight increase in the DOPAC concentration at high doses, and d-LSD and methysergide caused pronounced increases. At doses below 1 mg/kg i.p., d-LSD decreased the DOPAC concentration. This biphasic effect of d-LSD may be due to interaction with different types of DA receptors or may reflect some secondary action of the compound.

The profiles of activity of the various ergolenes are discussed. Bromocriptine and 29-712, wich have similar profiles of activity, can be clearly differentiated from the other ergolenes. CF 25-397 seems to be a potent and, at low doses, specific serotonergic drug.

Key words

Ergolenes Rat brain Dopamine Noradrenaline Serotonin PGO waves Cat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. R. Bürki
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Asper
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. Ruch
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. E. Züger
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research InstituteWander Ltd.BerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.the Biological and Medical Research DivisionSandoz Ltd.BasleSwitzerland

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