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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 May;33(1):257-60.

Patterns of extracellular 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVN): relation to circadian rhythm and deprivation-induced eating behavior.

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  • 1Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021.

Erratum in

  • Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1989 Nov;34(3):677.


Daily rhythms in extracellular levels of the serotonin metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), were examined in the region of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), using intracerebral microdialysis combined with high performance liquid chromatography and electrochemical detection. Samples of PVN dialysate, from 11 rats on a 12/12 hr light/dark cycle, were collected and assayed for 5-HIAA every 2 hr for 3 days. During the first 2 days the rats were given free access to food. During the 3rd day they were deprived of food for a 24-hr period and then given food for 4 hr. The results showed that in freely-feeding rats, there was a 24-hr rhythm in the levels of 5-HIAA, with a marked transient peak just after the beginning of the dark portion of the light/dark cycle and stable levels at all other times. When the animals were food-deprived, PVN levels of this metabolite remained stable, and the early dark peak was abolished, suggesting that it might have been consequent to the eating behavior which normally occurred at this time. In the 4-hr refeeding period, there were no changes in 5-HIAA levels, despite the intense eating behavior which occurred during this time. These patterns of 5-HIAA in the PVN region, taken together with previous evidence, suggest that PVN serotonin metabolism may increase in association with feeding specifically in the early portion of the nocturnal eating period, when it may play a role in controlling food intake and macronutrient selection.

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