• Brain glucose;
  • 3-Indole ethanol;
  • Sleeping sickness

Abstract: 3-Indole ethanol has been recently identified as the hypnotic agent in trypanosomal sleeping sickness, and because it is formed in vivo after ethanol or disulfiram treatment, it is also associated with the study of alcoholism. When administered intraperitoneally to rats (250 mg/kg) tryptophol induced a sleep-like state that lasted less than an hour (no righting reflex was apparent 2 min after injection, but it returned at 11 min in bovine serum albumin solution, and 47 min in 40% ethanol solution). In ethanol solutions, tryptophol reduced brain cortical glucose utilization by 55% to the basal brain metabolic rate, and this effect lasted less than 1 h. Synergistic effects of tryptophol and ethanol were suggested by the observation that in albumin solution, tryptophol reduced brain glucose utilization by 35%, but a normal rate was not observed until 2 h postinjection.