THERE is some doubt about the role of brain serotonin in aggression. In mice made aggressive by prolonged isolation, there is a decrease in brain serotonin turnover1, while increased aggressiveness has been noted in cats2 and rats3 given p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA), which inhibits serotonin synthesis4, although the experiments with cats2 were not confirmed later5. Dominguez and Longo 6 reported that PCPA attenuates irritability and viciousness in rats with septal lesions, and Welch and Welch7 observed decreased aggressiveness in isolated mice given PCPA. The explanation for these contradictory results may be that different models of aggression are not mediated through the same areas of the brain or by the same biochemical mechanisms.
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