Catecholamine Uptake in Cerebral Cortex: Adaptive Change Induced by Fighting

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Science  08 Jun 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4090, pp. 1050-1052
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4090.1050


Kinetics of the catecholainine uptake process in brain were altered by fighting. Significant increases in the apparent Michaelis constant (Km) for the uptake of norepinephrine into cerebral cortical homnogenates and significant increases in the inhibition constant (Ki) for d-amphetamnine inhibition of this uptake occurred in group-caged mice living under chronic attack from aggressive cage mates. Also, significant increases in the apparent Km and maximum velocity (Vmax) for norepinephrine uptake were observed 18 to 20 hours after the last of a series of short intense daily fights between male mice previously made aggressive by long-term individual caging. These results suggest that the natural stress of fighting leads to (i) lowered affinity for reuptake of norepinephrine into nerve endings of the cerebral cortex, (ii) an increase in the number of uptake sites, and (iii) lowered affinity for d-amphetamine.