Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Catecholamines

  • Marla SanzoneEmail author
  • Efrain Antonio Gonzalez
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1760

Synonyms

Adrenergic agonists; Direct- and indirect-acting adrenergic receptor agonists; Dopamine agonists; Dopaminergic agonists; Sympathomimetic amines/drugs/agents/compounds

Definition

Catecholamines are a class of biologically active water-soluble hormones comprising catechol and amine compounds. They are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is converted from phenylalanine as a function of the hydroxylation by the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase and can also be directly ingested from dietary proteins (Catecholamines 2002, 2008, 2009a, b).

Catecholamines are sympathomimetic amines, a group of compounds including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine whose molecular structure is similar to that of a larger class of neurotransmitters, the monoamines. The specific molecular structure of catecholamines is a benzene ring with two hydroxyl groups, an intermediate ethylamine to the side and an amine terminal group. The chromaffin cells in the adrenal medulla and sympathetic...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Practice, Loyola College of MarylandAnnapolisUSA
  2. 2.College of PsychologyNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  3. 3.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA