Brain serotonin metabolism and behavior in rats with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver cirrhosis
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Increased brain serotonin metabolism has been suggested as an etiologic factor in the development of portal-systemic encephalopathy (PSE) in connection with liver disease. We therefore investigated brain serotonin metabolism and open-field behavior (spontaneous activity and exploration) in rats with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver cirrhosis. Brain serotomin metabolism was evaluated in rats pretreated with an amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor. The 5-hydroxyindoles were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection. The results revealed an increased serotonin synthesis rate in all investigated brain regions in rats with histologically verified diffuse micronodular cirrhosis of the liver. Slightly impaired open-field behavior (i.e., decreased spontaneous activity) in the cirrhotic rats could not be excluded. However, the elevated brain serotonin synthesis rate could not be correlated to any abnormalities in open-field behavior.
Key wordsLiver cirrhosis Carbon tetrachloride Rats Brain 5-hydroxyindole metabolism Decarboxylase inhibition Open-field behavior
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