Possible Role of Insulin in the Transport of Tyrosine and Tryptophan from Blood to Brain

  • A. Tagliamonte
  • M. G. DeMontis
  • M. Olianas
  • P. L. Onali
  • G. L. Gessa
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 69)


The penetration of amino acids into the brain and into other tissues is mediated by energy-requiring systems1-3. These systems are not specific for each amino acid, but distinguish amino acids into three groups: neutral, acidic, and basic4–6. The rate of entry of any one amino acid into the brain is controlled by the ratio between its concentration in plasma and the concentration of all other amino acids belonging to the same group5–7.


Amino Acid Transport Tryptophan Concentration Free Tryptophan Distinguish Amino Acid Serum Brain 
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. 1.
    Abadom, P.N., and Scholefield, P.G., Amino acid transport in brain cortex slices. 1. The relation between energy production and the glucose-dependent transport of glycine, Canad. J. Biochem., 40 (1962) 1575.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lajtha, A., Energy requirements of cerebral amino acid transport. In A. Galoyan (Ed.), Problems of Brain Biochemistry, Vol. 3, Armenian Acad. of Sciences, Yerevan, 1967, p. 31.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Banay-Schwartz, M., Teller, D.N., Gergely, A., and Lajtha, A., The effects of metabolic inhibitors on amino acid uptake and the levels of ATP, Na+, and K+ in incubated slices of mouse brain, Brain Research, 71 (1974) 117.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Neame, K.D., In, A. Lajtha, and D.H. Ford (Ed.), Brain Barrier Systems, Progress in Brain Research, 29, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1968, 185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Blasberg, R., and Lajtha, A., Substrate specificity of steady- state amino acid transport in mouse brain slices. Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 112 (1965) 361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Richter, J.J., and Wainer, A., Evidence for separate systems for the transport of neutral and basic amino acids across the blood-brain barrier, J. Neurochem., 18 (1971) 613.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Guroff, G., and Udenfriend, S., Studies on aromatic amino acid uptake by rat brain in vivo, J. Biol. Chem., 237 (1962) 803.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    McMenamy, R.H., and Oncley, J.L., The specific binding of L-tryptophan to serum albumin, J. Biol. Chem., 233 (1958) 1436.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tagliamonte, A., Tagliamonte, P., Perez-Cruet, J., and Gessa, G.L., Increase of brain tryptophan caused by drugs which stimulate serotonin synthesis. Nature, New Biol. 229 (1971c) 125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tagliamonte, A., Tagliamonte, P., Perez-Cruet, J., and Gessa, G.L., Effect of psychotropic drugs on tryptophan concentration in the rat brain, J. Pharmac. exp. Ther., 177 (1971b) 475.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gessa, G.L., and Tagliamonte, A., Serum free tryptophan: control of brain concentrations of tryptophan and of synthesis of 5- hydroxytryptoamine, In, Aromatic Amino Acids in the Brain, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1974, p. 207.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gessa, G.L., and Tagliamonte, A., Possible role of free serum tryptophan in the control of brain tryptophan level and serotonin synthesis. In, E. Costa, G.L. Gessa, and M. Sandler (Eds.), Serotonin-New Vistas, Vol. 2, Raven Press, New York, 1974, p. 119.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Knott, P.J., and Cruzon, G., Free tryptophan in plasma and brain tryptophan metabolism. Nature, New Biol., 239 (1972) 452.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Curzon, G., Friedel, J., and Knott, P.J., The effect of fatty acids on the binding of tryptophan to plasma protein, Nature 242 (1973) 198.ADSCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tagliamonte, A., Biggio, G., Vargiu, L., and Gessa, G.L., Free tryptophan in serum controls brain tryptophan level and serotonin synthesis, Life Sci., 12 (1973) 277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fernstrom, J.D., and Wurtman, R.J., Brain serotonin content: increase following ingestion of carbohydrate diet. Sci., 174 (1971) 1023.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wurtman, R.J., Effects of physiological variations in brain amino acid concentrations on the synthesis of brain monoamines. In, P. Seeman, G.M. Brown (Eds.), Frontiers in Neurology and Neuroscience Research, First Int. Symposium of the Neuro- science Inst., Toronto, 1974, p. 16.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stefanini, E., and Biggio, G., Riv. Farmacol. Therap., VI, (1975) 46.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Costa, E., Spano, P.F., Groppetti, A., Algeri, S., and Neff, N.H., Atti Acc. Med. Lomb., 23 (1968) 1100.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Snedecor, G.W., Statistical Methods, Iowa State College Press, Ames, 1956.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Clark, A.J., Yamada, C., and Swendseid, M.E., Effect of L- leucine on amino acid levels in plasma and tissue of normal and diabetic rats. Am. J. Physiol., 215 (1968) 1324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Manchester, K.L., The control by insulin of amino acid accumulation in muscle, Biochem. J., 117 (1970) 457.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Biggio, G., Fadda, F., Fanni, P., Tagliamonte, A., and Gessa, G.L., Rapid depletion of serum tryptophan, brain tryptophan, serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid by a tryptophan-free diet, Life Sci., 14 (1974) 1321.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wurtman, R.J., In, P. Seeman, G.M. Brown (Eds.), Frontiers in Neurology and Neuroseiences Research, First Int. Symposium of the Neuroscience Inst., Toronto, 1974.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Tagliamonte, A., Tagliamonte, P., Corsini, G.U., Mereu, G.P., and Gessa, G.L., Decreased conversion of tyrosine to catecholamines in the brain of rats treated with p-chlorophenylalanine, J. Pharm. Pharmac., 25 (1973) 101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wurtman, R.J., Larin, F., Mostafapour, S., and Fernstrom, Brain catechol synthesis: control by brain tyrosine concentration, Science, 185 (1974) 183.ADSCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Tagliamonte
    • 1
  • M. G. DeMontis
    • 1
  • M. Olianas
    • 1
  • P. L. Onali
    • 1
  • G. L. Gessa
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PharmacologyUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

Personalised recommendations