Assessing Sympathetic Function from Dynamics of Norepinephrine Metabolism and False Transmitters

  • Irwin J. Kopin
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 53)


About 40 years ago, tritiated norepinephrine (3H-NE) and epinephrine (3H-EPI) were introduced as a means for examining the fate of catecholamines in experimental animals and in humans. By examining the urinary products of 3H-EPI and 14C-metanephrine, the O-methylated product of EPI, it was shown that O-methylation of the administered catecholamine was the major means of metabolic termination of its action.1 When 3H-NE was administered, a major portion of the administered radioactivity appeared to be sequestered in the tissues, such as the hearT., that were richly innervated by sympathetic nerves.2 After chronic denervation, however, this uptake of 3H-NE was abolished, indicating that intravenously administered catecholamines are taken up into sympathetic nerve terminals.3 The supersensitivity to NE released from sympathetic nerves that developed after such denervation indicated that reuptake was the major means of terminating the action of released NE.


Sympathetic Nerve Autonomic Failure Sympathetic Function Sympathetic Nerve Terminal Cardiac Sympathetic Denervation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irwin J. Kopin
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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