Pharmacological manipulation of brain serotonergic [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] activity affects run times to exhaustion in the rat. These effects may be mediated by neurochemical, hormonal, or substrate mechanisms. Groups of rats were decapitated during rest, after 1 h of treadmill running (20 m/min, 5% grade), and at exhaustion.
Immediately before exercise rats were injected intraperitoneally with 1 mg/kg of quipazine dimaleate (QD; a 5-HT agonist), 1.5 mg/kg of LY 53857 (LY; a 5-HT antagonist), or the vehicle (V; 0.9% saline). LY increased and QD decreased time to exhaustion (~28 and 32%, respectively; P < 0.05). At fatigue, QD animals had greater plasma glucose, liver glycogen, and muscle glycogen concentrations but lower plasma free fatty acid concentration than did V and LY animals (P < 0.05). In general, plasma corticosterone and catecholamine levels during exercise in QD and LY rats were similar to those in V rats. Brain 5-HT and 5-hydrowyindole-3-acetic acid concentrations were higher at 1 h of exercise than at rest (P < 0.05), and the latter increased even further at fatigue in the midbrain and striatum (P < 0.05). Brain dopamine (DA) and 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were higher at 1 h of exercise (P < 0.05) but were similar to resting levels at fatigue. QD appeared to block the increase in DA and DOPAC at 1 h of exercise, and LY prevented the decrease in DA and DOPAC at fatigue (P < 0.05). These data indicate that the effects of pharmacologically altered brain 5-HT activity on fatigue are not likely due to substrate or hormonal mechanisms but may be related to changes in brain DA concentrations.
J Appl Physiol. 74(6):3006-3012.