Regional distribution of D-amino acids in rat brain was studied by the modified highly sensitive analytical method which was previously developed. The method includes fluorogenic derivatization of each amino acid, isolation of each amino acid by reverse-phase HPLC, followed by enantiomeric separation with Pirkle-type chiral stationary phases. D-Amino acid contents were determined in the cerebrum, cerebellum, hippocampus, medulla oblongata, pituitary gland and pineal gland. D-Aspartic acid was observed in the pineal gland (3524 ± 263 nmol/g, data are for male rats of 6 weeks of age) and the pituitary gland (80.5 ± 9.0 nmol/g). D-Serine was found in various regions of the brain except for the cerebellum and medulla oblongata. D-Alanine was observed exclusively in the pituitary gland (25.9 ± 4.4 nmol/g), whereas D-leucine was found in the pineal gland (3.4 ± 0.4 nmol/g) and the hippocampus (1.6 ± 0.07 nmol/g). No other D-amino acids were detected in the brain. The contents of D-aspartic acid in the pituitary gland and D-serine in the pineal gland were higher in female rats. In contrast the contents of D-alanine in the pituitary gland and D-leucine in the pineal gland and the hippocampus were higher in males. Postnatal changes of D-aspartic acid and D-leucine in the pineal gland and D-alanine in the pituitary gland were also investigated. The results described in this paper suggested that distinct regulatory mechanisms exist for individual D-amino acids in the corresponding region of rat brain.
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