Serotonin metabolism and release in frontal cortex of rats on a vitamin E-deficient diet

J Neurochem. 1996 Feb;66(2):860-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1996.66020860.x.


Rats were fed a control or vitamin E (all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate)-deficient diet for 3 or 12 weeks. Serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), tryptophan, and alpha-tocopherol concentrations were determined in the frontal cortex using HPLC, alpha-Tocopherol concentrations fell significantly to 27% of control values at 12 weeks. Tissue 5-HT, 5-HIAA, and tryptophan concentrations were not significantly altered by the vitamin E-deficient diet at either time point. In vivo microdialysis revealed normal basal and K(+)-stimulated concentrations of 5-HT and 5-HIAA, but extracellular concentrations of tryptophan were significantly decreased after 3 weeks on the vitamin E-deficient diet, which resulted in an increase in the tissue/extracellular ratio and suggested a change in compartmentation. However, after 12 weeks on the deficient diet these values had returned to normal. Results in general indicate that a prolonged and substantial depletion of brain vitamin E can occur without major disturbance of serotonergic function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Diet
  • Eating
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Tryptophan / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / metabolism
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / metabolism*


  • Vitamin E
  • Serotonin
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Tryptophan