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Monday 08 October 2007

Downregulated hypothalamic 5-HT(3) receptor expression and enhanced 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist-mediated improvement in fatigue-like behaviour in cholestatic rats.

By: Nguyen H, Wang H, Le T, Ho W, Sharkey KA, Swain MG.

Neurogastroenterol Motil 2007 Sep;(): [Epub ahead of print]

The serotonin neurotransmitter system, including the 5-HT(3) receptor, has been implicated in the genesis of fatigue in patients with liver disease. Therefore, we examined the possible role of 5-HT(3) receptors in cholestasis-associated fatigue. Rats were either bile duct resected (BDR) or sham resected and studied 10 days postsurgery. A significant decrease in hypothalamic 5-HT(3) receptor expression was detected by immunohistochemistry and Western blot in BDR vs sham rats, coupled with increased hypothalamic serotonin turnover identified by an elevated 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) to 5-HT ratio in BDR vs sham rats. To examine fatigue-like behaviour, an activity meter was used. BDR rats exhibited significantly lower locomotor activity than did sham animals. Subcutaneous injection of the 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist tropisetron (0.1 mg kg(-1)) resulted in significantly increased locomotor activity in BDR rats compared to the activity in saline-treated controls, but was without effect in sham rats. However, a 10-fold higher dose of tropisetron significantly increased locomotor activity in both BDR and sham rats compared to saline-injected controls. These findings indicate that cholestasis in the rat is associated with increased hypothalamic serotonin turnover, decreased hypothalamic 5-HT(3) receptor expression, and enhanced sensitivity to locomotor activation induced by 5-HT(3) receptor antagonism, thereby implicating the 5-HT(3) receptor system in cholestasis associated fatigue.

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