Metabolic derangement of the dopamine system in hydrocephalic brain has been observed, but the change of monoamine oxidase (MAO), the major enzyme to metabolize dopamine, is not known. The metabolic changes of dopamine and MAO mRNA in the striaturn were examined in acute hydrocephalic rats whose ventricular size and intracranial pressure were controlled to a similar degree. The tissue levels of dopamine and its metabolites as well as MAO-A and MAO-B mRNA elevated significantly in hydrocephalus. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion reversed these changes and induced an initial decline, followed by an elevation of these substances in extracellular fluid. In summary, the metabolism of dopamine system in the striatum was up-regulated in acute hydrocephalus and CSF diversion reversed this metabolic derangement.
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