Brain Indole Metabolism Assessed Using in Vivo Dialysis

  • G. Sarna
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 294)


The relationships between tryptophan (Trp) and its major CNS metabolites serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) may be studied by analysis of post-mortem tissue or by analyzing concentrations in the extracellular fluid. Major advances in our understanding of the physiological importance of Trp supply to the brain and subsequent 5-HT synthesis and metabolism was derived, in part, from regional brain tissue analysis following e.g. Trp loading, stress, fasting (Fernstrom and Wurtman, 1971; Knott and Curzon, 1974; Curzon and Marsden, 1975). However, tissue analysis does not differentiate between functionally active substrate concentrations available to receptors in the extracellular compartment and intracellular concentrations. Furthermore, as only a single value is obtained from each animal, large numbers of animals are required to obtain temporal profiles of drug action. The primary advantage of in vivo monitoring of extracellular substrate concentrations is that repeated measurements may be made in the same animal over time. When applied to the conscious, freely moving animal, this allows associations between neurochemical changes and their roles in behaviors to be determined.


Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Quinolinic Acid Dialysis Probe Brain Tryptophan Brain Dialysis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Sarna
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of NeurologyLondonUK

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