Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Thyrotrophin-releasing hormone and shaking behaviour in rat


THYROTROPHIN-RELEASING hormone (TRH) produces behavioural effects in experimental animals1 and may have psychoactive properties in man2–5. Winokur and Utiger6 and Brownstein et al.7 have described the distribution of TRH in rat brain, suggesting that TRH has a modifying role in synaptic functions in addition to its effect on the pituitary. The behavioural effects of endogenous TRH release in the brain are not known; however, Prange et al.8 noted that the systemic administration of TRH to pentobarbital-anaesthetised rats resulted in lacrimation, paw tremor and a peculiar shaking movement of the head and trunk. These behavioural effects were also obtained in partially anaesthetised rats following intracisternal injection of 10 µg TRH per animal. The TRH-induced shaking was particularly interesting because we have observed this behaviour as a characteristic sign of morphine abstinence in the anaesthetised rat9. Here, we have studied the central sites of TRH-induced shaking to determine if these sites parallel the endogenous distribution of TRH in the rat brain and also to determine if these sites correspond to brain areas where morphine withdrawal shakes are obtained.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Plotnikoff, N. P., Prange, A. J., Jr, Breese, G. R., Anderson, M. S., and Wilson, I. C., Science, 178, 417 (1972).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Kastin, A. J., Ehrensing, R. H., Schalch, D. S., and Anderson, M. S., Lancet, i, 740 (1972).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Prange, A. J., Jr, Wilson, I. C., Lara, P. P., Alltop, L. B., and Breese, G. R., Lancet, i, 999 (1972).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Wilson, I. C., et al., Archs gen. Psychiat., 29, 15 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Coppen, A., Montgomery, S., Peet, M., Bailey, J., Marks, V., and Woods, P., ii, 433 (1974).

  6. Winokur, A., and Utiger, R. D., Science 185, 265 (1974).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Brownstein, M. J., Palkovits, M., Saavedra, J. M., Bassiri, R. M., and Utiger, R. D., Science, 185, 267 (1974).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Prange, A. J., Jr, et al. Life Sci., 14, 447 (1974).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Wei, E., Life Sci., 12, 383 (1973).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hedge, G. A., Yates, M. B., Marcus, R., and Yates, F. E., Endocrinology, 79, 328 (1966).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Litchfield, J. R., Jr, and Wilcoxon, F. J. Pharmac. exp. Ther., 96, 99 (1949).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Hemingway, A., Physiol. Rev., 43, 397 (1963).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Keller, A. D., and McClaskey, E. B., Am. J. phys. Med., 43, 181 (1964).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Bligh, J., Biol. Rev., 41, 317 (1966).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Hensel, H., Physiol. Rev., 53, 948 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Lipton, J. M., Am. J. Physiol., 224, 890 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Herz, A., Teschemacher, H., Albus, K., and Ziegelgansberger, S., Psychopharmacologia, 26, 219 (1972).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Wei, E., Loh, H. H., and Way, E. L., J. Pharmac. exp. Ther., 185, 108 (1973).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Kerr, F. W., and Pozuelo, J., Mayo Clin. Proc., 46, 653 (1971).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. George, R., Prog. Brain Res., 39, 339 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Konig, J. F. R., and Klippel, R. A., The Rat Brain: A Stereotaxic Atlas of the Forebrain and Lower Parts of the Brain Stem (Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1963).

    Google Scholar 

  22. Siegel, S., Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, 116 (McGraw-Hill, Toronto, 1956).

    MATH  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

WEI, E., SIGEL, S., LOH, H. et al. Thyrotrophin-releasing hormone and shaking behaviour in rat. Nature 253, 739–740 (1975).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing