Deermice, subjected to food rationing and low ambient temperature, were sacrificed in normothermia or during daily torpor. Levels of monoamines and their metabolites in the caudate putamen (CPN), the suprachiasmatic nuclear area (SCN), and the median raphe nucleus (MRN) were quantified through the use of HPLC with electrochemical detection. Significant elevations in levels (pg/mg protein) of the serotonin (5-HT) metabolite, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acectic acid (5-HIAA) were noted in torpid individuals in all nuclei examined. The dopamine (DA) metabolite, homovanillic acid (HVA) was significantly elevated in the CPN and MRN of torpid individuals. Moreover, a significant increase in the HVA to DA ratio was also noted in the CPN and the MRN. In the SCN, the concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), 5-HT, DA and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were also increased significantly during torpor. These significant elevations suggest that an increase in the activity of the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems occurs in these nuclei during daily torpor in the deermouse. © 1989.
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