Central L-arginine reduced stress responses are mediated by L-ornithine in neonatal chicks

R. Suenaga, H. Yamane, S. Tomonaga, M. Asechi, N. Adachi, Y. Tsuneyoshi, I. Kurauchi, H. Sato, D. M. Denbow, M. Furuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, we observed that central administration of L-arginine attenuated stress responses in neonatal chicks, but the contribution of nitric oxide (NO) to this response was minimal. The sedative and hypnotic effects of L-arginine may be due to L-arginine itself and/or its metabolites, excluding NO. To clarify the mechanism, the effect of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of L-arginine metabolites on behavior under social separation stress was investigated. The i.c.v. injection of agmatine, a guanidino metabolite of L-arginine, had no effect during a 10 min behavioral test. In contrast, the i.c.v. injection of L-ornithine clearly attenuated the stress response in a dose-dependent manner, and induced sleep-like behavior. The L-ornithine concentration in the telencephalon and diencephalon increased following the i.c.v. injection of L-arginine. In addition, several free amino acids including L-alanine, glycine, L-proline and L-glutamic acid concentrations increased in the telencephalon. In conclusion, it appears that L-ornithine, produced by arginase from L-arginine in the brain, plays an important role in the sedative and hypnotic effects of L-arginine observed during a stress response. In addition, several other amino acids having a sedative effect might partly participate in the sedative and hypnotic effects of L-arginine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Central L-arginine reduced stress responses are mediated by L-ornithine in neonatal chicks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this