Perinatal Undernutrition: Accumulation of Catecholamines in Rat Brain

Science  12 Mar 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3975, pp. 1017-1019
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3975.1017


Brains of rats undernourished from midgestation and killed at weaning contained 25 percent less norepinephrine than brains of adequately fed littermates. Perinatal undernutrition also suppressed the accumulation of brain dopamine. Paradoxically, the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase, the enzyme thought to be rate-limiting in catecholamine biosynthesis, was significantly increased in brains from undernourished animals.