Cerebral serotonin in viral encephalitis

  • L. Lima
  • B. Drujan
  • R. Walder
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 29)


In order to evaluate central serotonergic function during viral encephalitis biochemical, behavioural and immunohistofluorescence studies were carried out. Mice were inoculated with the moderate virulent strain of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis virus, Pixuna. Signs of encephalitis were observed in 50–60% of infected animals. Levels of serotonin and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid, and the ratio of the indolamine and its metabolite in raphe and cortex did not change with respect to sham-inoculated mice. A differential decrease in turnover rate by pharmacological methods, such as pargyline, p-chlorophenylalanine and probenecid administration, was observed in raphe and cortex. The ratio serotonin turnover rate/steady state concentration of serotonin was only decreased in the raphe of sick animals. The response to 5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltrypt-amine was greater in infected animals. The duration of immobility in the swim test was shorter in the infected group. A greater number of viral antigen particles was localized in raphe and periraphe areas than in cortex, brain stem or striatum. The results suggest a serotonin presynaptic deficit, a postsynaptic hyperreactivity of serotonin system, and a region-selective distribution of the virus.


Viral Encephalitis Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis Virus Sick Animal BioI Psychiatry Monoamine Metabolism 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Lima
    • 1
    • 3
  • B. Drujan
    • 1
  • R. Walder
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorios de NeuroquímicaInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC)CaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.Virologia AnimalInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC)CaracasVenezuela
  3. 3.Laboratorio de NeuroquímicaInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas (IVIC)CaracasVenezuela

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