Hypothesis with abnormal amino acid metabolism in depression and stress vulnerability in Wistar Kyoto rats

Mao Nagasawa, Yumi Ogino, Koji Kurata, Tsuyoshi Otsuka, Jyunki Yoshida, Shozo Tomonaga, Mitsuhiro Furuse

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41 Citations (Scopus)


While abnormalities in monoamine metabolism have been investigated heavily per potential roles in the mechanisms of depression, the contribution of amino acid metabolism in the brain remains not well understood. In additional, roles of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in stress-regulation mechanisms have been of much focus, while the contribution of central amino acid metabolism to these mechanisms has not been well appreciated. Therefore, whether depression-like states affect amino acid metabolism and their potential roles on stress-regulatory mechanisms were investigated by comparing Wistar Kyoto rats, which display depression-like behaviors and stress vulnerability, to control Wistar rats. Brain amino acid metabolism in Wistar Kyoto rats was greatly different from normal Wistar rats, with special reference to lower cystathionine and serine levels. In addition, Wistar Kyoto rats demonstrated abnormality in dopamine metabolism compared with Wistar rats. In the case of stress response, amino acid levels having a sedative and/or hypnotic effect were constant in the brain of Wistar Kyoto rats, though these amino acid levels were reduced in Wistar rats under a stressful condition. These results suggest that the abnormal amino acid metabolism may induce depression-like behaviors and stress vulnerability in Wistar Kyoto rats. Therefore, we hypothesized that abnormalities in amino acid and monoamine metabolism may induce depression, and amino acid metabolism in the brain may be related to stress vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2111
Number of pages11
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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