Peptide regulation of adrenal medullary function

  • B. G. Livett
  • P. D. Marley
  • D. C. C. Wan
  • Zhou Xin-fu
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 29)


The discovery of peptides in the splanchnic nerve and adrenal gland, and their co-existence with conventional neurotransmitters raises questions about their possible functional roles in catecholamine (CA) secretion and gene transcription in the adrenal gland. Short-term, stress-induced CA secretion is regulated biphasically by substance P (SP) which inhibits acetylcholine (ACh) action at SP >10−6M and facilitates CA secretion in response to metabolic and physical Stressors, ACh or electrical stimulation at SP <10−6M. Long-term, gene transcription of phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT) is exerted by glucocorticoids, and gene transcription of Proenkephalin-A by agents such as histamine, angiotensin II and VIP that increase cyclic AMP (cAMP). The final products of these two genes, adrenaline and Met-enkephalin and congeners, are co-stored in chromaffin granules of adrenaline cells but gene expression of these products is clearly under differential control.


Chromaffin Cell Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Adrenal Medulla Splanchnic Nerve Catecholamine Secretion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. G. Livett
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. D. Marley
    • 1
  • D. C. C. Wan
    • 1
  • Zhou Xin-fu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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