Strain differences in rat brain epinephrine synthesis: regulation of alpha-adrenergic receptor number by epinephrine

Science  23 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4617, pp. 1297-1299
DOI: 10.1126/science.6310752


Inbred tht strains Fischer 344 (F344) and Buffalo (BUF) differ in serveral physiological and behavioral measures. It was found that the activity of adrenomedullary and regional brain phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase is at least four times higher in F344 rats than in BUF rats; these strain-dependent differences corresponded directly with the epinephrine content of the medulla-pons and hypothalamus. Conversely, alpha-adrenergic receptor density in brain regions containing phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase is two to three times lower in F344 rats than in BUF rats; alpha-receptors in frontal cortex (a brain region lacking phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase activity and epinephrine) are similar in both strains. These findings suggest that strain-dependent differences in alpha-receptors are regulated by inherited differences in presynaptic adrenergic neuronal function in different brain regions.