para-Chloroamphetamine, an amphetamine analog, alters serotonergic neurochemistry. In previous reports, melatonin (MEL), when administered with other amphetamine analogs, altered the decline in serotonin content produced by these analogs. The present studies assessed the effects of various doses of melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine on serotonin levels in numerous brain regions in male rats. Melatonin (10, 25 or 50 mg/kg, s.c.) and p-chloroamphetamine (3 or 5 mg/kg, s.c.) were administered and, 3 h later, brain samples and serum were collected. Serotonin levels in the serum and various regions of the brain were assayed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Melatonin in combination with a high dose of p-chloroamphetamine (5 mg/kg) produced cumulative deficits in serotonin levels in the serum. However, serotonin levels in the pineal, cortex or brain stem in all combined melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine groups were not significantly different from groups that received p-chloroamphetamine alone. Serum adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone levels were significantly elevated in the melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine combined groups, suggesting that animals receiving both treatments were more stressed than control animals or animals receiving melatonin or p-chloroamphetamine alone. These results indicate that melatonin does not alter p-chloroamphetamine-induced deficits in central serotonin levels. The increased serum adrenocorticotropic hormone, corticosterone and serotonin levels observed following melatonin and p-chloroamphetamine treatment suggest that this combination may have adverse peripheral effects.
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