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Anim Sci J. 2010 Jun;81(3):345-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2010.00747.x.

A possible role of central serotonin in L-tryptophan-induced GH secretion in cattle.

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Neurobiology Research Unit, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Japan.


To clarify the role of serotonin (5-HT) in the regulatory mechanism of L-tryptophan (TRP)--induced growth hormone (GH) secretion in cattle, changes in 5-HT concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the third ventricle (3V) and GH in plasma before and after the peripheral infusion of TRP were determined simultaneously. The direct effect of TRP on GH release from the dispersed anterior pituitary cells was also assessed. A chronic cannula was placed in 3V by stereotaxic surgery, then CSF and blood were withdrawn under physiological conditions. TRP (38.5 mg/kg BW) was infused through an intravenous catheter from 12.00 to 14.00 hours and CSF and blood sampling were performed from 11.00 to 18.00 hours at 1-h intervals. The concentration of 5-HT in CSF was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. GH, melatonin (MEL), and cortisol (CORT) concentrations were measured by radio-immunoassay and enzyme-immunoassay. Concentrations of 5-HT were increased by TRP infusion. The TRP infusion significantly increased GH release. On the other hand, TRP did not stimulate GH release from the bovine pituitary cells. MEL and CORT concentrations were not altered by TRP infusion. These results suggest that TRP induced GH release via the activation of serotonergic neurons in cattle.

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