Studies on catecholamine metabolism in man using in vivo deuterium labelling
Studies in animals have shown that the rates of synthesis and turnover of catecholamines (CAs), rather than their levels, reflect changes in the functional activity of adrenergic nerves both in the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery (Costa and Neff, 1966; Costa, 1970; Sedvall, Weise and Kopin, 1968). Since a role for CAs has been implied in many physiological and pathological processes in man such as stress, hormone release, temperature regulation, affective disorders, schizophrenia and hypertension, there has been an interest in developing methods to study CA turnover in humans. The techniques which have been successfully utilised in animals can be divided into ‘steady state’ and ‘non-steady state’ methods. The former methods have advantages over the latter in as much as the analysis does not necessarily involve a perturbation of the system. The most common ‘steady state’ methods are: (1) labelling of the CA stores with radioactive amine and following decay; (2) measuring rate of formation of labelled amine after injection or infusion of the labelled precursor amino acid. ‘Non-steady state’ methods usually employ inhibitors of catecholamine synthesis, metabolism or metabolite transport and measure rates of accumulation or disappearance of the CA or metabolite.
KeywordsDopamine Tyrosine Schizophrenia Noradrenaline Catecholamine
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