Rapid Increase of Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase by Environmental Stress in an Inbred Mouse Strain

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Science  18 Feb 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4023, pp. 789-790
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4023.789


The activity of-phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase in mice of the C57Bl/Ka strain was determined after a 4°C stress. The enzyme activity increased 1.2-fold at the end of 3 hours and by 1.4-fold by the end of 6 hours of the stress. The results are in contrast to those from other species with intact animals in which the enzyme changes only after several days of chronic stress. Cycloheximide prevents the rise in enzyme activity, suggesting the increase may be due to protein synthesis. The increase may provide a model system for studying regulation of catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes.