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Received October 18, 2016; Revision received November 29, 2016
Dopamine (DA), synthesized in the mediobasal hypothalamus by dopaminergic neurons containing two enzymes of DA synthesis – tyrosine hydroxylase and decarboxylase of aromatic L-amino acids, or by monoenzymatic non-dopaminergic neurons containing one DA synthesis enzyme in cooperation, is known to have an inhibitory effect on prolactin secretion. Deterioration of this inhibitory control leads to an increase in prolactin concentration in the blood and to the development of hyperprolactinemia syndrome. In a rat model of hyperprolactinemia induced by administration of a neurotoxin causing degeneration of dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons, the level of DA first decreases, leading to an increase in prolactin level (decompensation stage), while later both levels are restored to normal (compensation stage). However, the mechanism of such compensation is still not clear. The aim of the present study was to analyze whether the increase in cooperative synthesis of DA by monoenzymatic neurons during hyperprolactinemia is a manifestation of a compensatory mechanism representing a particular case of neuroplasticity. The level of cooperative synthesis in the hyperprolactinemia model and in the control was estimated as the level of synthesis of DA and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) – an intermediate product of DA synthesis, when L-DOPA transfer from neurons containing tyrosine hydroxylase into neurons containing aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase is inhibited. The level of DA synthesis during the decompensation stage was not changed, while during the compensation stage it was lower than the control. Along with a reduction in DA level, during the compensation stage an increase in the extracellular L-DOPA level in the medium was detected. Thus, the compensation of DA deficiency after degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus is due to the increase in cooperative synthesis of DA by monoenzymatic neurons containing one of the complementary enzymes of the DA synthesis pathway.
KEY WORDS: mediobasal hypothalamus, neuroplasticity, dopamine, noradrenaline, L-dihydroxyphenylalanine, 6-hydroxydopamine, high-performance liquid chromatography