Free Amino Acids in the Developing Brain as Affected by Drugs

  • Williamina A. Himwich
  • Jimmie M. Davis
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


As Nyhan (1961) pointed out, the effects of most drugs in children are sufficiently different from those seen at older ages and in the adult to warrant considerable systematic investigation. Not only are the differences between the young and the adult of importance, but the timing and patterns of changes which occur as the animal matures are also of importance. During the period of rapid brain development the free amino acid pool in the brain serves as a source of building material for the brain proteins, and in addition some members such as glutamate are used for energy, while others such as GABA serve as neurotransmitters. Any disturbance of the delicate balance among the free amino acids can be expected to affect many reactions necessary to the unimpeded development of the brain. How serious these may be, we have as yet no means of determining. The data presented below are the result of some of our efforts to study these factors.


Glutamic Acid Aspartic Acid Free Amino Acid Caudate Nucleus Amino Acid Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cravioto, R.O., Massieu, G., and Izquierdo, J.J., 1951, Free amino-acids in rat brain during insulin shock, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 78: 856.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Davis, J.M., Himwich, W.A. and Pederson, V.C., 1970, Hypoglycemia and developmental changes in free amino acids of rat brain, J. Appt. Physiol. 29: 219.Google Scholar
  3. Dawson, R.M.C., 1950, Studies on the glutamine and glutamic acid content of the rat brain during insulin hypoglycemia, Biochem. 47: 386.Google Scholar
  4. Dravid, A.R. and Jilek, L., 1965, Influence of stagnant hypoxia (oligemia) on some free amino acids in rat brain during ontogeny. J. Neurochem. 12: 837.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Himwich, W.A., and Glisson, S.N., 1967, Effect of haloperidol on caudate nucleus, Int. J. Pharmacol. 6: 329.Google Scholar
  6. Himwich, W.A., Davis, J.M., Leiner, K.Y. and Stout, M., 1970, Biochemical effects of haloperidol in different species, Biol. Psychiat. 2: 315.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Lundborg, P., 1972, Abnormal ontogeny on young rabbits after chronic administration of haloperidol to the nursing mothers, Brain Res. 44: 684.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Massieu, G.H., Ortega, B.G., Syrquin, A. and Tunea, M., 1962, Free amino acids in brain and liver of deoxypyridoxine-treated mice subjected to insulin shock, J. Neurochem. 9: 143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nyhan, W.L., 1961, Toxicity of drugs in the neonatal period, J. Pediat. 59: 1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Patel, A.J., Balâzs, R. and Richter, D., 1970, Contribution of the GABA bypath to glucose oxidation, and the development of compartmentation in the brain, Nature 226: 1160.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Roberts, E., 1960, Free amino acids of nervous tissue: Some aspects of metabolism of gamma-aminobutyric acid. In: “Inhibition in the Nervous System and Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid”, Pergamon Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Williamina A. Himwich
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jimmie M. Davis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Thudichum Psychiatric Research LaboratoryGalesburgUSA
  2. 2.State Research HospitalGalesburgUSA

Personalised recommendations