Hyperthyroidism is often associated with behavioral disorders, and thyroid hormones modify receptor sensitivity as well as the synthesis and/or turnover rate of many neurotransmitters. We evaluated the influence in adult rats of triiodothyronine (T-3), administred s.c. (100 mu g/kg) acutely (once only) or chronically (once a day for 3 or 7 consecutive days), on brain serotonin concentration and on the density and affinity of two brain serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtypes mainly involved in behavioral effects. After both acute and chronic T-3 treatment, serotonin levels increased in the cerebral cortex but not in the hippocampus. The density and affinity of 5-HT1A receptors (using [H-3]-8-OH-DPAT as ligand) were not affected, while there was a significant decrease in the number of 5-HT2 receptors in the cerebral cortex (using [H-3]ketanserin as ligand). This observation might indicate that thyroid hormones enhance 5-HT concentration in certain brain areas, thus causing a down-regulation of 5-HT2 receptors. The serotonergic system could be involved in the complex brain-neurotransmitter imbalance underlying hyperthyroidism-linked behavioral changes.
Effect of acute and chronic treatment with triiodothyronine on serotonin levels and serotonergic receptor subtypes in the rat brain / Sandrini, Maurizio; Vitale, Giovanni; Vergoni, Anna Valeria; Ottani, Alessandra; Bertolini, Alfio. - In: LIFE SCIENCES. - ISSN 0024-3205. - STAMPA. - 58:(1996), pp. 1551-1559.