Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary. The effect of daily repeated 10 min immobilization on the serotoninergic neurotransmission and serum corticosterone levels was studied. Male Lewis rats were immobilized for a 10 min period daily once or on 5 consecutive days. Serotoninergic neurotransmission was followed using differential in vivo pulse voltammetry with carbon fibre electrodes measuring extracellular 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels. Recordings were performed in brain areas involved in the control of behaviour, mood, and stress response such as the frontal cortex, the hippocampal CA-3 and dentate gyrus, the striatum, and the raphe nuclei dorsalis (NRD) and medialis (MRN). The first immobilization resulted in an increase of the extracellular 5-HIAA levels in all areas under study, except the striatum where no reaction was observed. The major effect was recorded in the frontal cortex, showing an increase of about 400% as compared to control, which lasted for 3 h after the end of the immobilization period. Beginning on day 2 in all areas, except the striatum, a consecutive habituation to the stressor seemed to occur, since the stress-induced increase in the voltammetric signal was found to be reduced after consecutive immobilization. Serum corticosterone levels were measured directly after a single and after 5 daily immobilization periods. After single immobilization the serum corticosterone level was found to be about 270 ng/ml. After the 5th immobilization about 300 ng/ml were detected. These differences were not found to be significant. In summary, our data indicate that the serotonin metabolism shows habituation in nearly all brain areas after repeated immobilization, though the corticosterone level at the end of the immobilization period was comparable after single and repeated immobilization.
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