Adrenergic Neurons: Their Organization, Function and by Geoffrey Burnstock Ph.D., D.Sc., F.A.A., Marcello Costa

By Geoffrey Burnstock Ph.D., D.Sc., F.A.A., Marcello Costa (auth.)

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It is therefore apparent that the two major routes of metabolism of NA involve the enzymes monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol-o-methyl transferase (COMT) (Axelrod, 1966; Kopin, 1972; Sharman, 1972). 2 Localization and properties of MAO The term 'monoamine oxidase' designates a group of enzymes which catalyse the oxidative deamination of monoamines (Gorkin, 1966; see Blaschko, 1972b, for historical background). MAO is localized within the double outer membrane of the mitochondria of various cell types including neurons (Snyder, Fischer & Axelrod, 1965; Tipton, 1967; Schnaitman, Erwin & Greenwaalt, 1967; Jarrott & Iversen, 1968; Giacobini & Kerpel-Fronius, 1970; Furness & Costa, 1971b; Jarrott, 1971a).

Increase of tyrosine conversion to dopa is fast in onset in the terminals, but there is no associated change in the cell bodies or in the axons (Roth, Stjame & von Euler, 1967b; Weiner & Rabadjija, 1968a, b; Thoenen, 1970; Bhatnagar & Moore, 1971a, 1972). In contrast, reduction of activity of adrenergic neurons following decentralization (Hertting, Potter & Axelrod, 1962; Fisher & Snyder, 1965; Musacchio & Weise, 1965; Sedvall, Weise & Kopin, 1968), and following increase of cytoplasmic NA (Alouisi & Weiner, 1966; Spector, Gordon, Sjoerdsma & Udenfriend, 1967; Udenfriend, 1968; Weiner, 1970; Dairman & Udenfriend, 1971; Spector, Tarver & Berkowitz, 1972; Weiner 42 BIOSYNTHESIS AND METABOLIC DEGRADATION OF NA & Bjur, 1972) is associated with decreased T-OH activity and NA synthesis from tyrosine.

In the rat superior cervical ganglion increased sympathetic activity leads to an increase of tyrosine hydroxylase activity by a process of induction (synthesis of new enzyme). Reproduced with permission from Thoenen, 1972. increase in T -OH activity in the adrenergic cell bodies only after several hours and reaches a peak after several days (Axelrod, Mueller & Thoenen, 1970; Thoenen, 1970; Thoenen, Mueller & Axelrod, 1970; Thoenen, Kettler, Burkard & Saner, 1971; Bhatnagar & Moore, 1972; Figure 9).

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