Neurochemical Research

, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 949–956 | Cite as

Rat brain monoamine and serotonin S2 receptor changes during pregnancy

  • Jonathan Glaser
  • Vivienne Ann Russell
  • Anna Susanna de Villiers
  • Johanna Anita Searson
  • Joshua Joachim Fransua Taljaard
Original Articles


The concentrations of noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and their metabolites were determined in 5 brain areas of non-pregnant, 15 and 20 day pregnant and 4 day post-partum rats. Striatal 5-HT content was significantly lower in 15 and 20 day pregnant rats than in estrous controls. A significant decrease in striatal and frontal cortex 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA) concentration was observed in 15 day pregnant rats. Significant increases in hypothalamic and hippocampal NA levels were observed at 4 days post-partum. Frontal cortex serotonin S2 receptorKd was reduced in 4 day post-partum rats. There was no significant change in S2 receptorBmax during pregnancy. Levels of progesterone were negatively correlated with striatal DA, homovanillic acid (HVA), 5-HT, and 5-HIAA levels, hypothalamic DA, hippocampal 5-HT, and frontal cortex 5-HIAA values as well as striatal HVA to DA, and HVA to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) ratios and amygdaloid HVA to DOPAC ratios. The limbic neurotransmitter changes might possibly contribute to mood changes which occur during pregnancy and post-partum.

Key Words

Dopamine noradrenaline serotonin S2 receptors progesterone estradiol-17β corticosterone limbic system pregnancy 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Glaser
    • 1
  • Vivienne Ann Russell
    • 1
  • Anna Susanna de Villiers
    • 1
  • Johanna Anita Searson
    • 1
  • Joshua Joachim Fransua Taljaard
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Research Unit for the Neurochemistry of Mental Diseases, Department of Chemical PathologyUniversity of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg HospitalTygerberg(R.S.A.)

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