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J Neurochem. 1991 Jan;56(1):153-62.

Serotonin synthesis rate measured in living dog brain by positron emission tomography.

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McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, Quebec, Canada.


In vivo measurements by positron emission tomography of the brain serotonin synthesis rates in the normal dog, in the dog with increased plasma tryptophan concentration, and in the dog under different arterial oxygen tensions are described. The method described here permits repeated measurements in the same brain for the first time. An increase in the plasma tryptophan concentration from 16.6 to 191.5 and then to 381 microM resulted in close to a linear increase in the brain serotonin synthesis rate. When PaO2 was raised from 76 +/- 2 to 106 +/- 1 mm Hg, the rate of serotonin synthesis in the dog brain increased from 39 +/- 8 to 54 +/- 10 pmol g-1 min-1. The estimates of the Michaelis-Menten constants, Kappm and Vmax, for the transport of tryptophan through the blood-brain barrier are 303 +/- 54 microM and 63 +/- 10 nmol g-1 min-1, respectively.

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