Impulse activity differentially regulates [Leu]enkephalin and catecholamine characters in the adrenal medulla

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4653, pp. 1102-1104
DOI: 10.1126/science.6144183


Regulation of the putative peptide neurohumour [Leu]enkephalin and the catecholaminergic enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase and phenylethanolamine-N-methyl-transferase was examined in the rat adrenal medulla in vivo and in vitro. Surgical denervation of the adrenal gland or pharmacologic blockade of synaptic transmission, treatments known to decrease catecholamine traits, increased [Leu]enkephalin content. Medullas explanted to culture exhibited a 50-fold rise in [Leu]enkephalin in 4 days, whereas tyrosine hydroxylase remained constant, and phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase decreased to a new baseline level. Veratridine-induced depolarization prevented the accumulation of [Leu]enkephalin, an effect that was blocked by tetrodotoxin, which antagonizes transmembrane Na+ influx. These studies suggest that enkephalinergic and catecholamine characters are differentially regulated by impulse activity and depolarization in the adrenal medulla.