School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Antioxidants are prototypical scavengers of oxygen-free radicals and have been shown to prevent neuroendocrine dysfunction in vertebrates during oxidative stress. In the present study, we investigated whether antioxidant treatment can reverse hypoxia-induced down-regulation of hypothalamic tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) and serotonergic functions in Atlantic croaker. Hypothalamic neuronal contents of TPH-1 and TPH-2 proteins, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and its precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) as well as hypothalamic TPH-1 and TPH-2 mRNA expression and TPH activity were measured in croaker after exposure to hypoxia and treatment with pharmacological agents. Multiple injections of N-ethylmaleimide, a sulfhydryl alkylating agent, caused comparable decreases in hypothalamic TPHs functions and 5-HT contents to that induced by hypoxia exposure (dissolved oxygen: 1.7 mg/L for 4 weeks) which were partially restored by repeated injections with a nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-inhibitor and/or vitamin E. Double-labeled immunohistochemical results showed that TPHs and 5-HT neurons were co-expressed with neuronal NOS (nNOS, a neuroenzyme) that catalyzes the production of nitric oxide, a free radical, in hypothalamic neurons. These results suggest that hypoxia-induced impairment of TPH and serotonergic functions are mediated by nNOS and involve the generation of free radicals and a decrease in the antioxidant status. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first evidence of a protective role for an antioxidant in maintaining neural TPHs functions and 5-HT regulation in an aquatic vertebrate during hypoxic stress.


Copyright © 2014 Rahman and Thomas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Frontiers in Neuroscience





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