Norepinephrine Methylation in Fetal Rat Adrenals

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Oct 1966:
Vol. 154, Issue 3746, pp. 275-276
DOI: 10.1126/science.154.3746.275


The activity of phenylethanolamine-N-methyl transferase, the enzyme that methylates norepinephrine to form epinephrine, increases rapidly in the fetal rat adrenal during the day preceding epinephrine accumulation. The developmental increase in enzyme activity and the accumulation of epinephrine are prevented by fetal hypophysectomy (decapitation). Administration of adrenocorticotrophic hormone or cortisol acetate largely reverses the effect of fetal decapitation.