Dietary tyrosine suppresses the rise in plasma corticosterone following acute stress in rats

Life Sci. 1985 Dec 9;37(23):2157-63. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(85)90566-1.


Acute, uncontrollable stress increases norepinephrine (NE) turnover in the rat's brain (depleting NE) and diminishes the animal's subsequent tendency to explore a novel environment. Pre-treatment with tyrosine can reverse these adverse effects of stress, presumably by preventing the depletion of NE in the hypothalamus. Numerous studies suggest that NE inhibits the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by suppressing corticotropic releasing factor (CRF) secretion in the hypothalamus. In the present study, we found that pre-treatment with supplemental tyrosine not only prevented the behavioral depression and hypothalamic NE depletion observed after an acute stress, but also suppressed the rise in plasma corticosterone. These results support a role for brain NE in stress-induced corticosterone secretion and demonstrate that supplemental tyrosine can protect against several adverse consequences of such stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Corticosterone / blood*
  • Diet
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Stress, Physiological / blood*
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism
  • Tyrosine / administration & dosage
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • Tyrosine / pharmacology*


  • Tyrosine
  • Corticosterone
  • Norepinephrine