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

ISBN-10: 0412140608

ISBN-13: 9780412140600

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Additional resources for Adrenergic Neurons: Their Organization, Function and Development in the Peripheral Nervous System

Example text

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).

41 ADRENERGIC NEURONS Fast regulatory mechanism. The hydroxylation of tyrosine is the slowest of the three steps in the biosynthesis of NA and therefore T -OH is the rate-limiting enzyme (Udenfriend, 1966a; Spector, Sjoerdsma, SaltmanNirenberg & Udenfriend, 1963; Levitt, Spector, Sjoerdsma & Udenfriend, 1965). The enzyme activity is regulated by the end product NA, which acts as a fast feed-back inhibitor on its synthesis (Nagutsu, Levitt & Udenfriend, 1964; Spector, Gordon, Sjoerdsma & Udenfriend, 1967; Weiner, 1970).

Dopamine-~-hydroxylase is present in both small and large granular vesicles in the vas deferens, but may not be present in small granular vesicles in the spleen. Vesicular storage allows a large amount of transmitter to be stored in adrenergic neurons in an inactive form. Adrenergic vesicles are mainly synthesized in the cell body and transported by fast axonal flow to the terminals, but some vesicles may be formed in the terminals. Noradrenaline synthesis mainly occurs in the terminal varicosities.

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