Intracerebroventricular injection of L-arginine and D-arginine induces different effects under an acute stressful condition

Phuong V. Tran, Linh T.N. Nguyen, Hui Yang, Phong H. Do, Kyohei Torii, Grace L. Putnam, Vishwajit S. Chowdhury, Mitsuhiro Furuse

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Central administration of L-arginine was reported to attenuate stress responses in neonatal chicks. The present study aimed to elucidate the differential effects of centrally administered L-arginine and its enantiomer, D-arginine, on the stress response in chicks and the associated mechanisms. Intracerebroventricular injection of L-arginine attenuated acute isolation stress by inducing sleep-like behavior, while central administration of D-arginine potentiated the stress response, reducing the time spent standing motionless with eyes open and increasing distress vocalizations compared to the control. The brain concentrations of amino acids and monoamines following L- and D-arginine administration during stress were also determined. L-Arginine significantly increased the mesencephalic L-glutamine concentration. D-Arginine administration did not affect the levels of L-arginine or other amino acids in the examined brain regions. 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) level and dopamine (DA) metabolic rate (DOPAC/DA) were significantly higher in the diencephalon in the D-arginine group compared to the L-arginine group, while the mesencephalic DA level was significantly lower in the D-arginine group compared to the control. In vitro experiment using the brain slice culture demonstrated that extracellular perfusion of D-arginine significantly elevated the mRNA expression level of monoamine oxidase B, the major enzyme involved in DA metabolism, in the locus coeruleus region of the brainstem. In conclusion, in neonatal chicks, central administration of D-arginine exerted a stimulant effect on the stress response, in contrast to the stress-attenuating effects of L-arginine, partly through an effect on brain dopaminergic metabolism and not through competition with the L-stereoisomer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-970
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 17 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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