Catecholamine Release and Excretion in Rats with Immunologically Induced Preganglionic Sympathectomy

Stephen Brimijoin, Pamela Hammond, Ali A. Khraibi, Gertrude M. Tyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Abstract: Plasma and urinary catecholamines were quantified to assess global sympathoadrenal function in rats with preganglionic lesions caused by antibodies to acetyl‐cholinesterase (AChE). Rats were given intravenous injections of normal mouse IgG or murine monoclonal anti‐acetylcholinesterase IgG (1.5 mg). Five or 16 days afterward, basal blood samples were taken through indwelling arterial cannulae. A few hours later, the rats were immobilized for 10 min in padded restrainers, and another blood sample was drawn. HPLC determinations showed low basal levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine (<0.2 ng/ml in all rat plasma samples). In control rats, immobilization stress increased levels of plasma catecholamines up to 35‐fold. In rats tested 5 days after injection of antibody, the norepinephrine response was much smaller (15% of control), and (he epinephrine response was nearly abolished (5% of control). There was some recovery at 16 days after antibody treatment, but stress‐induced catecholamine release was still markedly impaired. Reduced stress‐induced release: was not accompanied by major changes in tissue epinephrine or norepinephrine (heart, spleen, adrenal glands, and brain), although adrenal dopamine content dropped by 60%. Urinary excretion was studied in parallel experiments to gain insight into the effects of AChE anti‐bodies on basal sympathoadrenal activity. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and selected metabolites were quantified in 24‐h urine samples collected at frequent intervals for 30 days after antibody injection. No statistically gnificant changes were detected in the urinary output of dopamine, 3‐methoxytyramine, normetanephrine, or 3‐methoixy‐4‐hydroxyphenylglycol. On the other hand, epinephrine and norepinephrine output increased sharply at the time of antibody injection and then fell significantly below control levels. Norepinephrine output returned to normal after 2 weeks, but epinephrine output remained depressed. These results are consistent with previous evidence of widespread and persistent antibody‐mediated βmade to the preganglionic sympathetic system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2204
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Acetylcholin‐esterase antibodies
  • Catecholamines
  • Dopamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Plasma
  • Preganglionic sympathetic system
  • Sympathoadrenal function
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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