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Science. 1973 Oct 5;182(4107):72-4.

Brain tryptophan hydroxylation: dependence on arterial oxygen tension.


The accumulation of cerebral 5-hydroxytryptophan after decarboxylase inhibition was decreased in rats maintained at arterial O(2) tensions below 60 mm-Hg. In contrast, brain lactate was stable above 40 mm-Hg and brain adenosine triphosphate, adenosine diphosphate, and adenosine monophosphate were unchanged above 30 mm-Hg. There was a linear correlation of brain 5-hydroxytryptophan accumulation to cerebral venous O(2) tension. Cerebral tryptophan hydroxylase appears to have a poor affinity for oxygen and to be affected by slight hypoxia. The resultant decreases in monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism may explain the behavioral changes of mild oxygen deprivation.

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