The pharmacology of centrally acting drugs in animals of altered thyroid status

  • R. Waite

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The pharmacological effects of a number of centrally acting drugs have been compared in euthyroid mice and mice made hyperthyroid by pretreatment with sodium-1-thyroxine.

The potencies of two barbiturates, pentobarbitone and thiopentone - as indicated by the duration of their hypnotic actions and their acute toxicities - are increased in hyperthyroid mice. An acutely active uncoupler of phosphorylative oxidation is 2, 4-dinitrophenol, an agent which proved to be a potent hypnotic when administered intracerebrally. An attempt has been made to relate the mechanism of action of the barbiturates to the uncoupling effects of thyroxine and 2, 4-dinitrophenol.

The pharmacological effects of chlorpromazine, reserpine and amphetamine-like drugs have also been studied in hyperthyroid mice. After pretreatment with thyroxine, mice show a reduced tendency to become hypothermic after chlorpromazine or reserpine; in fact, under suitable laboratory conditions these agents produce a hyperthermic effect. Yet their known depressant effects upon locomotor activity were not substantially altered. Thus it appeared that depression of
locomotor activity and hypothermia are not necessarily correlated, an observation at variance with previously held opinion. These results have been discussed in the light of our knowledge of the role of the thyroid gland in thermoregulation.

The actions of tremorine and its metabolite, oxotremorine, have also been examined. Hyperthyroid animals are less susceptible to both the hypothermia and tremor produced by these agents. An attempt is made to explain these observations, in view of the known mechanism of action of oxotremorine and the tremorgenic actions that thyroxine may have. A number of experimental methods have been used to study the anti-nociceptive (analgesic) effects of drugs in euthyroid and hyperthyroid mice. The sites and mechanisms of action of these drugs and the known actions of thyroxine have been discussed.
Date of AwardAug 1969
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorN. Harper (Supervisor)


  • pharmacology
  • centrally acting drugs
  • animals
  • altered thyroid status
  • thyroid

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