The purpose of the present study was to clarify the central nervous system function of amino acids during acute stress. In Experiment 1, changes in free amino acid pattern were investigated in the brain of neonatal chicks exposed to either restraint with isolation-induced or fasting stress. l-Proline and l-arginine were decreased in the telencephalon and diencephalon under any stress. Since the central nervous system functions of l-arginine during the stress response has recently been reported, in Experiment 2, the effect of intracerebroventricular injection of l-proline (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 μmol) during isolation-induced stress was investigated. l-Proline induced sedative and hypnotic effects in a dose-dependent manner. It is suggested that l-proline may have an important role to attenuate the stress response in the central nervous system of chicks.
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