Effects of progesterone on some brain neurotransmitters in intact rats

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992 Oct;36(4):255-8.


Effects of progesterone on four neurotransmitters (viz, noradrenaline, 5-HT, dopamine and histamine) of brain were seen in rats with intact ovaries. It was found that progesterone lowers the noradrenaline concentration in medulla, pons, midbrain, hypothalamus, thalami and pituitary, uniformly, when the rats were killed within 4 hours of progesterone injection. At longer intervals (48 hrs) effects of progesterone were seen when progesterone in heavy dose was administered to rats pretreated with estrogen. It is likely that one of the modes of action of the oral contraceptives may be the reduction of noradrenaline content in selected areas of brain, by progesterone. It is also suggested, therapeutic usage of progesterone carries the risk of development of depression in the user.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Stem / drug effects
  • Brain Stem / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Histamine / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland / drug effects
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Serotonin
  • Progesterone
  • Histamine
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine