The effects of a single acute dose of dexamethasone on monoamine and metabolite levels in rat brain

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

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3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid; Animals; Brain Chemistry; Catecholamines; Cats; Cerebral Cortex; Corpus Striatum; Dexamethasone; Dopamine; Homovanillic Acid; Humans; Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid; Hypothalamus; Limbic System; Male; Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol; Norepinephrine; Nucleus Accumbens; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Serotonin




Twenty male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally with either 20 micrograms of dexamethasone or an equivalent volume of saline. The rats were then sacrificed at either one or four hours after the injections and their brains analyzed for monoamine and metabolite content using High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Electrochemical Detection. Significant effects were seen in dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, but these effects varied depending on the area of rat brain studied. Significant increases in dopamine (DA) levels were seen in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens of the dexamethasone treated rats when compared with saline treated rats. There was no significant effect of dexamethasone on DA levels in frontal or striatal brain areas. In the dexamethasone treated rats a significant increase in serotonin (5-HT) was observed in the hypothalamus; a significant decrease in 5-HT was observed in the frontal cortex. Biological and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.


Life Sci. 1985 Jul 1;36(26):2491-501.

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Life sciences

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