Changes in endogenous monoamines in aged rats

J. J. Lee, C. K. Chang, I. M. Liu, T. C. Chi, H. J. Yu, J. T. Cheng

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56 Citations (Scopus)


1. It has been documented that ageing may alter endogenous neurotransmitters. However, these results are controversial. Thus, in the present study, cerebral cortex and plasma from male Wistar rats aged 8 weeks and 6, 12 or 24 months were used to investigate the changes in monoamines using electrochemical detection. 2. A marked decrease in L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) was observed in aged rats. Like the decrease in dopamine (DA), levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA), the major metabolite of 5-HT, in aged rats were decreased in the cerebral cortex and plasma. Plasma levels of noradrenaline and levels of adrenaline in the cerebral cortex were also decreased in aged rats. Moreover, levels of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), a metabolite of DA, in the cerebral cortex and plasma were reduced by ageing. The level of homovanillic acid (HVA) in all samples was markedly increased with ageing. 3. The ratio of DOPAC/DA and 5-HIAA/5-HT, being closely linked with the activity of monoamine oxidase, was increased in the cerebral cortex and plasma with ageing. The ratio of HVA/DOPAC, an index of the activity of catechol-O-methyltransferase, was also higher in the cerebral cortex and plasma of aged rats. 4. These data suggest that ageing may alter endogenous monoamines in both the brain and peripheral tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-289
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase
  • High-pressure liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection
  • Monoamine
  • Monoamine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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