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Neurosci Lett. 2012 Jan 11;506(2):287-91. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.11.024. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Orally administered L-ornithine reduces restraint stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice.

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Laboratory of Regulation in Metabolism and Behavior, Graduate School of Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


In a previous study, we confirmed that orally administered L-ornithine can be transported into the brain of mice. In addition, orally administered L-ornithine, within a limited dose range, had an anxiolytic-like effect in the elevated plus-maze test. However, the mechanism by which orally administered L-ornithine reduced the stress response in mice is still unclear. Experiment 1 determined whether orally administered L-ornithine could reduce the stress-induced activation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Mice were orally administered L-ornithine (0, 0.75, 1.5 and 3 mmol/10 ml/kg, p.o.), and restrained for 30 min from 30 min post administration. There was a significant decrease in the corticosterone levels in the group receiving 0.75 mmol of L-ornithine compared to the control group. In Experiment 2, the effect of orally administered L-ornithine (0 and 0.75 mmol/10 ml/kg, p.o.) on endogenous monoamine release was investigated using in vivo microdialysis. Only the monoamines metabolites 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovallinic acids (HVA) were detected in the present study. Dialysate concentrations of 5-HIAA, DOPAC and HVA were not significantly changed immediately after administration of L-ornithine and restraint stress. In conclusion, changes of corticosterone concentrations by orally administered L-ornithine were not related to alterations in brain monoamine metabolisms.

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