Effects of Electroconvulsive Shock on Tetrahydrobiopterin and GTP‐Cyclohydrolase Activity in the Brain and Adrenal Gland of the Rat

Mir Ahamed Hossain, Joseph M. Masserano, Norman Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Abstract: The effects of a single and repeated electroconvulsive shock (ECS) (300 mA, 0.2 s) on tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) levels and GTP‐cyclohydrolase activity in the brain and adrenal glands of rats were examined. Twenty‐four hours after the last ECS treatment (one/day for 7 days), biopterin levels were significantly elevated in the locus coeruleus, hippocampus, frontal cortex, hypothalamus, ventral tegmental area, and adrenal gland. There were no changes in biopterin levels after a single application of ECS. GTP‐cyclohydrolase activity was significantly increased in the locus coeruleus, frontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and adrenal gland 24 h after repeated ECS and remained elevated in certain tissues up to 8 days after the last treatment. Kinetic analysis of adrenal and locus coeruleus GTP‐cyclohydrolase 1 day after 7 days of ECS showed significant changes in both Km and Vmax values. These data suggest that the long‐term increases in BH4 levels and GTP‐cyclohydrolase activity after repeated ECS may play a part in the mediation of the antidepressant effects of ECS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2237-2243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992



  • Adrenal gland
  • CNS
  • Electroconvulsive shock
  • GTP‐cyclohydrolase
  • Tetrahydrobiopterin
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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