The relationships between monoamine metabolism and forced swimming or antidepressants have been well studied, however information is lacking regarding amino acid metabolism under these conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of forced swimming and imipramine on amino acid concentrations in plasma, the cerebral cortex and the hypothalamus in mice. Forced swimming caused cerebral cortex concentrations of l-glutamine, l-alanine, and taurine to be increased, while imipramine treatment caused decreased concentrations of l-glutamate, l-alanine, l-tyrosine, l-methionine, and l-ornithine. In the hypothalamus, forced swimming decreased the concentration of l-serine while imipramine treatment caused increased concentration of β-alanine. Forced swimming caused increased plasma concentration of taurine, while concentrations of l-serine, l-asparagine, l-glutamine and β-alanine were decreased. Imipramine treatment caused increased plasma concentration of all amino acid, except for l-aspartate and taurine. In conclusion, forced swimming and imipramine treatment modify central and peripheral amino acid metabolism. These results may aid in the identification of amino acids that have antidepressant-like effects, or may help to refine the dosages of antidepressant drugs.
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