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Neuroscience 1983 Dec;10(4):1399-404

Effects of thyroid state on serotonin, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and substance P contents in discrete brain nuclei of adult rats.

Savard P, Merand Y, Di Paolo T, Dupont A

The effects of chemical thyroidectomy produced by propylthiouracil treatment or hyperthyroidism produced by daily injections of thyroxine on the content of serotonin, its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and of substance P in discrete brain nuclei of adult rats have been studied. Brain nuclei were removed by punches of frozen brain slices. The serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid contents were measured by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection while substance P was assayed by radioimmunoassay. The serotonin level was significantly increased in 11 nuclei of the hypothyroid and in 12 nuclei of the hyperthyroid rats. The 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels were higher in 16 nuclei of the hypothyroid and 7 nuclei of the hyperthyroid animals. The state of the thyroid gland in adult rats also affected the substance P system but less consistently than the serotonin pathway. Thus, the substance P content in the brain of propylthiouracil-treated animals increased significantly in 4 nuclei while it decreased in the septum lateralis and the striae terminalis. Following the chronic thyroxine injections, the substance P level was increased in the nucleus caudatus putamen and the tractus diagonalis and was decreased in the area ventralis tegmenti. We previously reported that neonatal thyroidectomy caused a general increase of the substance P and serotonin contents in many brain nuclei of young rats. It appears that the effects of chemical thyroidectomy on mature and immature rat brain are different for the substance P system, suggesting that thyroxine plays an important role in the maturation of substance P-containing neurons.

PMID: 6198601, UI: 84117826

The following study seems important because substance P may have indium in it. Males have more substance P than females, and this may protect them from cadmium toxicity and thyroid disease.

Endocrinology 1985 Nov;117(5):2198-202

The differential effects of thyroid and gonadal hormones on substance P content in the anterior pituitary of the prepubertal rat.

Coslovsky R, Braverman LE, Leeman SE, Aronin N

The effects of thyroid and gonadal status on the content of substance P in the anterior pituitary (AP-SP) were examined in prepubertal rats. A sex difference in AP-SP is evident by age 50 days [males, 287 +/- 35 fmol/mg protein (mean +/- SE); females, 103 +/- 17; P less than 0.05], and this difference becomes greater by 75 days (males, 543 +/- 54; females, 146 +/- 11.5; P less than 0.01). Hypothyroidism was induced in male and female pups by giving lactating dams 0.1% methimazole (wt/vol) in their drinking water after parturition. There was a marked and significant increase in AP-SP in 21-day-old hypothyroid compared to euthyroid control pups. Male pups were made thyrotoxic by daily treatment with T4 (10 micrograms/rat, sc) from age 8 to 15 days. AP-SP was 4 times lower in the thyrotoxic than in the euthyroid pups (P less than 0.001). Rats ovariectomized at age 22 days and killed on day 35 revealed no change in AP-SP, in contrast to the rise in AP-SP in the ovariectomized adult rat. Female pups were treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT; 50 micrograms/day) or testosterone (50 micrograms/day) from age 8-20 days. Neither androgen induced a change in AP-SP. Female pups which received estradiol (E2; 0.5 micrograms/day) or testosterone (75 micrograms/day) from age 8-20 days also had no change in AP-SP. As opposed to the lack of effect of E2 and DHT on AP-SP in female rats younger than 22 days, E2 (1 microgram/100 g BW daily) caused a decrease and DHT (100 micrograms/100 g BW daily) caused an increase in AP-SP in female rats treated from 22-35 days of age [E2, 91 +/- 6.9; DHT, 226 +/- 31 (P less than 0.05 vs. control for both); control, 154 +/- 13]. We conclude that the responsiveness of AP-SP to alterations in thyroid status is present at the youngest age studied. In contrast, the responsiveness of AP-SP to changes in the levels of gonadal steroids is absent in the infantile period and requires a maturational process that becomes evident during the juvenile state of sexual development.

PMID: 2412805, UI: 86004511

Brain Res 1984 Aug;317(2):239-45

Serotonin, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and substance P content of discrete brain nuclei in rats made hypo- or hyperthyroid in the neonatal period: effect of growth hormone treatment.

Savard P, Blanchard LM, Merand Y, Dupont A

In order to determine the role of growth hormone (GH) in the therapeutic effect of thyroxine (T4), we measured the content of serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and substance P in discrete brain nuclei of neonatally-induced hypothyroid rats and in neonatally-induced hypothyroid rats subsequently maintained on bovine growth hormone (b-GH) injections. Substance P was measured by radioimmunoassay whilst 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were determined by HPLC with electrochemical detection. In neonatal hypothyroid rats, substance P concentration increased in 5 out of 11 brain nuclei dissected while 5-HT and 5-HIAA level increased in 7 out of 19 brain nuclei selected. Although b-GH-replacement therapy abolished the hypothyroid-induced accumulation of 5-HT and 5-HIAA in brain nuclei with exception of the substantia nigra zona reticulata, it did not influence the substance P accumulation. This suggests that the abnormal brain development observed during hypothyroidism may, in part, result from absence of growth hormone. We also observed that neonatal hyperthyroidism induced very little modification of 5-HT, 5-HIAA and substance P concentrations in discrete nuclei of the rat brain.

PMID: 6206925, UI: 85001407



Horm Metab Res 1986 Apr;18(4):234-7

Influence of thyroid function upon "Substance P" induced secretion of saliva by submaxillary glands.

Tumilasci OR, Houssay AB, Paz C del V, Sosto NE, Varela V

The effects of changes in thyroid function on the action of "Substance P" upon the secretion of saliva by the submaxillary glands was studied in male Wistar rats, with parasympathetic decentralization on the left side. The dose-response curves to increasing doses of "Substance P" showed in hyperthyroid animals increased salivary secretion while in hypothyroid animals the dose-response curve to the drug was decreased. Every animal showed supersentivity to "Substance P" in the decentralized gland. The influence of changes in thyroid function in the denervated glands was the same as that in the unoperated side, increased salivary secretion in hyperthyroidism and decreased in hypothyroidism.

PMID: 2423426, UI: 86222163


Brain Chemical Shows Way To New Drug Treatments

Reuters HealthMay 11, 2000

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Alterations of a brain chemical called ``substance P'' promise a new approach for managing depression, anxiety and stress, and possibly controlling opiate addiction, researchers report.

Substance P receptor is found not only in areas of the brain that are associated with depression, anxiety and stress, but also those parts that interfere with the effects of rewards such as food and drugs.

Stephen P. Hunt of University College, London, and colleagues examined the effects of the substance P receptor gene in mice to determine its role in morphine and cocaine addiction.

According to the report published in the May 11th issue of Nature, mice bred to lack the receptor for substance P do not experience the pleasurable experiences of morphine and therefore do not become addicted to the opiates. The mice also were unable to detect withdrawal symptoms from the morphine.

However, the researchers found that mice without the substance P receptor still experienced enjoyment from cocaine, which suggests that this drug may function differently than opiates.

Drugs that block the substance P receptor not only have the potential to treat drug addiction, but also to prevent relapses into drug abuse resulting from stress. The investigators found that substance P receptor antagonists, or the genetic disruption of the substance P receptor, can weaken the stress response.

``Substance P antagonists may be useful in the prevention of relapse, which is the most important aspect of addiction,'' Hunt noted.

The authors conclude that substance P has an important and specific role in interfering with the motivational aspects of opiates and may present a new pharmacological route for the control of drug abuse. Substance P antagonist drugs are in the final phases of clinical trials for depression and anxiety, and appear to be as effective as Prozac, Hunt added.

SOURCE: Nature 2000;405:180-183.