Effects of trimethyltin on dopaminergic and serotonergic function in the central nervous system

Diane L. DeHaven, Thomas J. Walsh, Richard B. Mailman

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25 Scopus citations


The effects of trimethyltin (TMT) administration on regional concentrations of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and their metabolites were determined. Acute administration of 3 or 7 mg/kg TMT (as the chloride) to adult male Long-Evans rats caused alterations in both dopaminergic and serotonergic function in brain at 7 days posttreatment. Dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) concentrations were decreased in the nucleus accumbens of rats treated with 7 mg/kg, with a trend occurring with the 3-mg/kg dose group. Conversely, concentrations of DA or DOPAC were not altered in striatum, olfactory tubercle, septum, or amygdala/pyriform cortex. Administration of 3 mg/kg TMT decreased the concentration of serotonin in striatum and nucleus accumbens, and increased the concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in hippocampus. The 7-mg/kg dose resulted in increased concentrations of 5-HIAA in striatum, nucleus accumbens, septum, amygdala/pyriform cortex, and hippocampus, and also decreased the concentration of 5-HT only in amygdala/pyriform cortex. The ratio of 5-HIAA to 5-HT (an indirect estimate of serotonin turnover) was increased in all brain regions of rats treated with 7 mg/kg, and in nucleus accumbens and amygdala/pyriform cortex of rats treated with 3 mg/kg. Conversely, no alteration in the DOPAC to DA ratio was found in any region of brain in rats killed at 7 days, nor was there a change in dopamine receptors (as measured by [3H]spiperone binding) in rats treated with 7 mg/kg TMT and killed 7 days following exposure. Thus, the acute sequelae of TMT neurotoxicity appears to involve primarily serotonergic systems, and these effects may be related to the behavioral effects resulting from TMT administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 15 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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